A New Commandment

Sam Petitfils

“A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35

While God expected Old Testament saints to love one another (Leviticus 19:18), Jesus places a new emphasis upon it and makes it a binding command.  He also demonstrates it even in this passage of Scripture.  He humbled Himself to wash the disciples’ feet, and then commanded them to do the same.  This was considered “beneath” a man to lower himself in this manner, and yet this is what Jesus did.

Today the world needs a breath of love, and who better to give it than the church?  Jesus told the Church at Ephesus that they lost their first love (Revelation 2:4).  They needed to rekindle that love in order to share it with other people. So we need to show love to others as well.

Fortunately, Jesus gives an idea of what this love looks like, right from this passage.  In 13:15, He indicates His foot-washing act was something they needed to follow.  If the Master washes feet, certainly His disciples need to.  Now we don’t think He limited this act to literal foot-washing; it was the act of serving He zeroed in on.  As Jesus served His disciples, so they needed to serve one another.  And we should do it with a loving, willing attitude.

He then shares what reward they might expect for doing so: they will be blessed (13:17).  To be “blessed” by God means we will be “well-situated,” or you might say, “happy.”  To follow the Master’s example of humility, service and helpfulness brings a joy unspeakable and full of glory.  And others receive a blessing by our act of kindness.

The people of this world will take note of our self-denying act of service, especially when they realize it was performed in love (13:35).  They cannot help but take notice, because it happens so rarely.  Each year Sunrise Church conducts an “Act of Kindness” campaign, encouraging people to engage in real acts of kindness to other people.  Really we should be engaged in these all year long.  When others see what we have done, it leads them to wonder why.  And we should be prepared with a response (1 Peter 3:15).

God bless you, child of God, as you exercise love to a needy world.  It was indeed Jesus’ greatest commandment.

_______________________________________________________________________________________

This is my commandment

This is my commandment,
That you love one another
That your joy may be full;
This is my commandment,
That you love one another
That your joy may be full;
That your joy may be full,
That your joy may be full.
This is my commandment,
That you love one another
That your joy may be full.

 

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