March 30
‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.’ John 13:34
Bible reading: 1 John 3:11-17 (Go to the Bible passage)
The moment God created man in paradise, the love between man and woman was created too.
What this love entails exactly, nobody can tell with certainty. Yet we can be sure of one thing: lust in the relation between man and woman is a consequence of sin, and will not have been there before the fall (Genesis 3:16).
Throughout all ages, it surely was not only Plato, who thought about deep love between man and woman, without lust demanding such a prominent place in it.
When the apostle Paul says that the fruit of the Spirit is, among other things, love (Galatians 5:22), he will most certainly have had a different kind of love in mind, than the love the whole world sings about. Indeed, directly following that, he says frankly: ‘Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires’ (Galatians 5:24).
Even though love is as old as the world, the Bible also speaks of a different kind of love. Jesus says that He gives us a new commandment of love, and that kind of love must be seen as a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Jesus describes this love with the words: ‘As I have loved you’ (John 13:34). Not people who take the moral high ground, but God setting us a command, tells us: ‘Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach (…) but the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it’ (Deuteronomy 30:11,14).
Let us, now we feel the pressure rising, not protest, but rather thank God for His redemption: ‘And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws’ (Ezekiel 36:27).
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