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John 13:34-35 – A New Commandment from Jesus

Summary

Jesus commands his followers to love one another, just as he has loved them. If his followers love one another in this way, their relationship to Jesus will be plain to see.

Analysis

Jesus gives his disciples a new commandment, to love one another as he has loved them. This new commandment is similar to the command to love one's neighbor as oneself, but it differs in two ways. First, the new commandment does not focus on the love people have for themselves but on the love they receive from Christ. The love Jesus gives becomes the source and standard for Christian love. Second, the new commandment speaks of loving one another, emphasizing the mutual quality of love. The new commandment is a community-building commandment. As people in the Christian community show love for one another, they express the love they receive from Christ. Jesus makes such acts of loving service a form of Christian witness. The way the world comes to know about the love of Christ is through the love that takes shape in Christian community (13:35).

John 13:34-35

34I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. 35By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.’

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