As Jesus is getting closer to the end of His earthly ministry, He gives a new commandment. In John 13:34, Jesus tells the disciples, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” He then tells them that this love they have for others would be the identifying mark of those who follow Him. Why is this a new commandment? Back in Deuteronomy 6:5, we are commanded to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, and strength. In Leviticus 19:18, we are instructed to love our neighbor as ourselves. Then in Matthew 5:43-48, we are taught that we must even love our enemies. So obviously loving God and others is not a new commandment. So what’s new about this commandment in John 13:34? The new commandment is that we are to love one another as Jesus loves us.
If we are to love one another as Jesus loves us, then what does that love look like?
One of God’s primary attributes is love. 1 John 4:8 says, “Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” It is not a definition of God, but rather that His love permeates His essence in all that He is and everything He does. So when we truly know Him and experience His unfailing love towards us, there should be a desire for every person we come in contact with to want to experience His love also. Therefore, if we don’t love others, we must not know God on a personal level and have experienced His love.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 that love is patient, kind, does not envy, does not boast, is not proud, does not dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, does not keep any record of wrongs, does not rejoice in evil but rejoices in truth, it always protect, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and it never fails. Only God has such an unwavering and unfailing love and He expressed that love to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. John 3:16 tells us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Jesus said in John 15:13, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” And that is exactly the purest and truest love there is – and Jesus did that for us. He loves perfectly.
Only God has such an unwavering and unfailing love and He expressed that love to us through Jesus’ death and resurrection. — Julia BruceTweet
Because we are made in God’s image, we should reflect His love.
It would be impossible for us to love like Jesus on our own. This unselfish, perfect love can only come from God. Jesus demonstrated and taught us how to love and we can learn from the examples He set. While on earth, we often see Jesus in the role of a servant as he placed the needs of others above His own and He expects us to do the same. However, loving and serving others is not a burden, but a joy. Galatians 5:22 provides a list of spiritual fruit that is the result of having the Holy Spirit dwelling within us and one of those fruit is love. Jesus tells us in John 15:4, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” Because He lives in us, we will bear His fruit which will overflow from us and the world will see and know that we belong to Him. So what is the distinguishing mark of being a disciple or follower of Jesus? Loving others as Jesus has loved us.
Because we are made in God’s image, we should reflect His love. It would be impossible for us to love like Jesus on our own. This unselfish, perfect love can only come from God.Tweet
Jesus showed no partiality in who he loved.
We can’t love like Jesus and only love those who dress, talk, or act like us. Nor can love like Jesus and love only those in the same social or economic class as us. We can’t love like Jesus and only love those who have the same color of skin as us. We can’t love like Jesus and only love those who are of the same denomination as us. There are no exceptions to Jesus’ love. There is no one so far gone in sin that Jesus doesn’t love. So if we love as Jesus loved, we can not put limits to who we love either.
Jesus showed no partiality in who he loved our how he loved. In fact, Jesus loved us all so much that He gave His life for us. How did He love? Completely! His love for us cost Him the cross. — Julia BruceTweet
Jesus also showed no partiality in how he loved.
In fact, Jesus loved us all so much that He gave His life for us. How did He love? Completely. His love for us cost Him the cross. God knew before He ever created Adam and Eve that they would sin and it would send Jesus to the cross. He knew before He created you that you would sin and it would send Jesus to the cross – but He created us anyone because He loved us. Jesus willingly laid down his life because He loved us.
So does how you love others set a distinguishing mark on you as one of Jesus’ disciples? Does the world see how you love others and recognize you as a child of God?
What is the identifying mark of being a disciple or follower of Jesus? Loving others as Jesus has loved us. — Julia BruceTweet
Do you have a daily Bible Reading plan?
If not, come join us as we read the Bible through in one year. Each day we post the scripture reading along with links to read it online.
Have you learned this week’s memory verse?
Because of the Lord’s faithful love we do not perish, for His mercies never end. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness!
Do you serve in ministry? If so, you’ll want to browse our self-care blogs.
In the series of blogs, we breakdown why people in ministry need to practice self care, explain the differences between stress, burnout, and compassion fatigue, and combine both psychology and Biblical principles to help pastors, missionaries, small group leaders, worship pastors, nursery workers, facility/maintenance staff, religious non-profit staff, and any other ministry staff understand why self-care is crucial to you continuing the work God’s called you to do.
If you can relate to this, then take some time to read our self care blogs.
Test your Bible smarts and see if you can answer our trivia questions. We post a trivia question every other day and the correct answer on the next day. Stop by the trivia page and grab a question or two and see if your friends and family can answer it.
You can check out our Christian t-shirts for men, women, kids and infants in our Teespring and Spreadshop stores. You can also find the designs on mugs, bags, aprons, hats, and more. We also have some Christian themed canvas art available at Teespring. Browse the stores with the links below:
What’s Inside God, Love and Marshmallow Wars?
This book includes 365 daily activities and takes you on a guided journey through Biblical principles about Godly marriage that you can then apply to your marriage, as well as helping you talk through concepts that can help you develop a solid relationship. Inside you will find simple, quick activities that include:
- Scripture to memorize and meditate on
- Conversation Starters
- Concepts from the Bible on Godly marriages
- Romance Builders
- Relationship Builders
- Personal reflections
- Date ideas
- Group date ideas for you and other Christian couples
Available in hardback, paperback and ebook from Westbow Press Bookstore, Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel. Click the icons below to purchase from your preferred bookstore. Now also available at WalMart online.
Join the community of couples on Facebook who are committed to intentionally growing their marriage and learning how to have a marriage that honors God. Here you can post photos of the different activities as you do them, ask questions of other couples, share how God is using this book to strengthen your marriage, and grow with other Christian couples. We’ll see you in the community.
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(Due to COVID-19, we are only tentatively booking speaking engagements for events after September 2020 based on the recommendations as issued by the CDC and our government officials.)
We are eager to be a part of your next church or ministry event – regardless of size. We can bring one of our ministry programs to your church, or we can tailor a message to your event theme. To request more information or schedule a booking, fill out the online form at the link below. Or call us at 904.239.8937.