“A new commandment I give you.” There is no way for me, a Gentile living in 2019, to hear that phrase with the same ears as the Jews sitting around the table with Jesus. The “Commands of God” were at the heart of their identity. God have given them Torah, and it distinguished the Jews from all other people. They were “keepers of the light” – a nation set apart. It was the Law, God’s commandments, that provided that identity.
Now Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you.” A new commandment. A new covenant to replace the old covenant. “Love one another: just as I have loved you, love one another.” This was to be the distinguishing mark of the followers of Christ. Remember, the Church of Jesus Christ was to be the new “keeper of the light” (John 5:14-16). Jesus’ followers were to think of themselves as citizens of a different kingdom (Philippians 3:20). The word “Church” literally refers to those called out and set apart. What was the distinguishing mark of these Disciples? By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Lord, help me to keep this command in my life today. I confess that I do not always know what it means to love others as You would have me to love them. Love is a hard word. Sometimes it means patience; sometimes it means words of Truth; sometimes it means gentleness; other times is requires me to take a stand. Guide me today and help me to be marked by love. Love others through me. And help others to see your love in me and know that I am your Disciple.
In Jesus Name,