“What is the most important command that God put forth?” a lawyer asks Jesus. “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself”. (Matt 22:37-40)
Part of the New Covenant Jesus established by going to the cross was also setting forth a new commandment. Jesus said in John 13:34 So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. (NLT) What was so new about this commandment and what was so different from the old one that it was replacing? Love has always been foundational, even in the old covenant.
The old commandment was: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself…. In effect it was saying, treat others as you want to be treated, love them as you want to be loved. Love them as much as you love yourself. But Jesus resets their paradigm and says, that isn’t good enough. From now on I want you to love others the way I have loved you, which when you think about it is totally revolutionary.
No longer are you to love others the way you want to be loved because that still keeps you as center of your universe. Love them in ways that you think is best, in methods that speak to you, that are important to your own personality. I now want you to love others the way I have loved you which puts the other person as center and focused. No longer is it most important to love others the way you want to be loved, you get to love them in the way Christ loves you. Which isn’t hard, because Christ is in you giving you the grace and power to do it.
How important is this “new commandment” and what results can we expect? Is it really that revolutionary? Jesus answers that question in the next verse, John 13:35 Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.” It will prove to the world……..
Trying to convince others that you are a disciple of Jesus? Start by focusing on loving them as Jesus does and not as you want to be loved. It is a paradigm shift that brings guaranteed results.