A New Commandment


 A Blogged Bible Study entry for John 13:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Love as a commandment.  In the Old Testament the ten commandments were the written covenant between Israel and God.  These commandments were the stipulations of the covenant.  By speaking of love as a new commandment Jesus is using covenant terminology.  If we are in covenant with Jesus then we have been commanded to love.  

Who is in covenant with Jesus?  All those He came to save.

Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus knowing that His hour had come that He would depart out of this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.  ~John 13:1

You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.  ~John 15:16

Love is the distinguishing mark for the believer:

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”  ~John 13:35

What does this love look like?  Jesus explained, “Just as I have loved you.” How did He love us? He came to die for us. We are not asked to die for the sins of the world.  Only He could make that sacrifice and secure our eternal life.

But we can follow His example of loving to the very end (13:1):

We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.  ~1 John 3:16

We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.  ~1 John 4:16

And we can follow the example He gave of washing the disciples’ feet — to be servants of one another — not lording anything, any position, over another.  God washed man’s feet.  How can we, as mankind, refuse to serve another man? 

So when He had washed their feet, and taken His garments and reclined at the table again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you?  You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am.  If I then, the Lord and the Teacher, washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet.”

As His servants we are to serve to the very end.

This is a new commandment, as a covenant partner, to love one another just as Jesus loved you . . .

. . . sacrificially serving and laying down our lives for each other.

Have we followed His commandment to love?

12 responses »

  1. Have we followed HIS command to love?

    Not hardly, I do want it though, and I am asking HIM to help me love my enemies…but even more to love and serve the body of Christ.

    I find it interesting that it is a command..not something for us to think about or choose when..but a command..”Do It”…

    Thank you Michelle for posting this. Love you and hope you have an awesome day! 🙂

  2. What I like about the New Testament requirement of love is that it is more extreme or requires more than the Old Testament. For example with Peter he asked how many times he had to forgive someone. 7 times? Jesus just blow him away when he said 70 tiimes 7.

    That shows me that it is not just enough to do something but I also must have the right attitude as well. Both inside and out.

  3. Hey, Darla! I love your honesty. It’s refreshing. As we strive to live this life of holiness, we have to do it on His terms, not ours. It is a covenant responsibility. I love you so much!!! 😉

    Yay, Brandy!! I love you. 😀

    Hey, Nonconformer. Interesting poll there.

  4. Hello, DaRonn. I didn’t see you there. Isn’t it amazing how Jesus “upped the ante” for the New Covenant. It’s funny to me how some say, “Tithing is not a New Testament concept.” They’re right. Giving sacrificially, giving your all, giving out of your poverty…that’s New Testament giving.

    Thanks for commenting! Loved the ecard. 😉

  5. That scripture about how He chose us is mind boggling to me. But, going along with the question you pose, I believe that it is vital that choice be a part of our love for others. Obligation is not enough. Like DaRonn said, in the old covenant the extent of connection with God was obligation. But now, with a new covenant and the new commandment we move beyond obligation into choice. And if we don’t take the cues from our God then we will be lost in any attempt to love. Good post girl. I like how much scripture you use – phenomenal.

  6. It boggles my mind too, Angie. And then the one about choosing us BEFORE the foundation of the world to be found in Him. WOW.

    We do have the choice to obey or not. I believe because it is a covenant relationship, we have responsibilities to fulfill and if we don’t, we will pay the price — either in this life or at the judgment seat of Christ. I think this is what Paul was telling the Corinthians when he spoke of eating and drinking the Lord’s supper unworthily. With the whole covenant meal we are making a binding agreement to fulfill our end of the covenant. This walk into death we take shows the heaviness, the level of commitment to Him. I added the link in the post, but I don’t know if anyone noticed. This makes more clear my understanding of covenant:


    Love you, Angie!!

  7. here is the negative part about love that few Christians do practise and I do wonder why?

    (Rev 3:19 KJV) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

  8. Amen, Nonconformer. Many aren’t too happy about the way it’s described in Hebrews either:

    And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.” ~Hebrews 12:5-6

    His discipline can feel like scourging.

  9. A loving father will discipline his child to correct wrong behavior. Sometimes God nudges us to get our attention, sometimes he just turns us over to the world and lets us see we can’t do it with out his Love.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend Michelle.

    Love ya sis.

  10. Hi Michelle! Reading through your posts. 🙂 I love your thoughts on this commandment. As Nor pointed out last week … love is actually loving. Not pretending to, or ‘looking’ like we’re loving, but really loving … from the heart. Like He did. Brass tacks. Down to brass tacks.

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