In these verses, Jesus introduces a new commandment to His disciples — the commandment of love. It is a unique and revolutionary commandment because it is not simply a command to love, but a command to love as Jesus has loved them.
The significance of this commandment lies in the standard of love set by Jesus Himself. His love is sacrificial, selfless, and unconditional. It is characterized by humility, forgiveness, compassion, and service. Jesus' love is the perfect embodiment of God's love for humanity, demonstrated through His life, ministry, and ultimately His sacrificial death on the cross.
Jesus instructs His disciples to love one another in the same way He has loved them. This love extends beyond superficial affection or mere sentimentality. It is a love that seeks the highest good of others, even at the cost of personal sacrifice. It is a love that goes beyond personal preferences, prejudices, and boundaries. It is a love that reflects the very nature of God Himself.
By loving one another in this way, Jesus explains that everyone will recognize His disciples. This love becomes the identifying mark of those who follow Jesus. It distinguishes them from the world and testifies to the transformative power of the Gospel.
The love Jesus speaks of has a profound impact. It is not just a private and personal affection, but a love that radiates and influences the world around us. It is a love that transcends differences and draws people together in unity. It is a love that heals divisions, reconciles relationships, and brings about genuine transformation in individuals and communities.
When Jesus says, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples," He highlights the power of love as a testimony to the world. It is through our love for one another that the world will recognize and understand the reality of our relationship with Jesus. Our love becomes a living witness that points others to the transformative work of Christ in our lives.
This commandment challenges us to examine our attitudes and actions towards others. It calls us to a radical love that embraces even those who are difficult to love, different from us, or considered our enemies. It calls us to love not based on merit or personal gain, but simply because Christ first loved us.
The fulfillment of this commandment requires the empowerment of the Holy Spirit. It is through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that we are able to love as Jesus loves. As we yield to the Holy Spirit, He produces the fruit of love in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23), enabling us to love others with the same love that Jesus has lavished upon us.
In conclusion, John 13:34-35 reveals the revolutionary commandment of love given by Jesus to His disciples. It calls us to love one another as He has loved us, setting a standard of sacrificial, selfless, and unconditional love. This love becomes the distinguishing mark of Christ's disciples and has the power to transform lives and testify to the reality of the Gospel. May we embrace this commandment, allow the Holy Spirit to work in us, and let our love shine brightly in a world in need of the transformative power of Christ's love.
John 13:34-35. A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.