‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.’ John 15:12
The commandment of love is a very old one. In Leviticus, one of the books of Moses, is already written, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18). Yet, the Lord Jesus says, ‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another’ (John 13:34). When the apostle John says that he does not give a new commandment, he reminds us of the fact that Jesus had already given this new commandment.
Who would not long to learn this? To live with each other in this unprejudiced, unselfish love? John shows us the way. This divine love, this gift from heaven, becomes our share when we live in obedience to His commands. After all, whoever lives like this has abandoned his own will, has given up his ‘ego’, just to live for God.
This indeed is a new commandment that far outshines the commandment Moses gave to the people of Israel. For the old law teaches us that we must love one another as we love ourselves, but the new law of Jesus says that we must love each other as Jesus has loved us. And Jesus - thank God - does not harbor any self-love! His love is completely unselfish and self-denying.
God asks more of us than to love each other with the love we can manage ourselves. God has poured out His love into our hearts (Romans 5:5) that is manifested in us as the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22).
By the radiance of this love, the world will know that we are His disciples (John 13:35).