Pastor's Blog

John 13:1

It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love.

Beginning with this 13th chapter and continuing through the 17th chapter Jesus is with the disciples in the upper room for the Passover feast, and then they walk through the city of Jerusalem and make their way to the Garden of Gethsemane on the mount of Olives. During the course of the evening Jesus did several things to express his love – and ultimately surrenders himself to be crucified for the sins of the world. But the first act of love was when he took off his outer garment, got a basin of water and began washing the feet of the disciples . . .

In this 13th chapter of John, Jesus gave a “new commandment”. John 13:34

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

So what is “new” about that commandment? It seems to me that when Jesus had been asked about what the greatest commandment was His response had been to love God with all your heart, and all your soul and all your mind, . . . And the second . . . Love your neighbor as yourself. Love had been a command since the days of Moses some 2000 years before the gospel of John was written.

Looking at the Greek word for “new” in this context, it doesn’t mean new in the sense of most recent or different. It is more along the line of “fresh” . . . I give you a command to love one another out of the context of a fresh commitment to love each other.

Jesus command was “fresh”in the sense that it was no longer about loving just your neighbor – believers were now going to be brothers and sisters in the family of God . A family thing is more intimate than a neighbor thing.

Secondly, Jesus freshened up the command to love by raising the bar . . . the Old Testament command was to love your neighbor as yourself . . . the fresh command is to love as Christ has loved us. That is a totally self-sacrificing love – living for the good of others.

Thirdly, Jesus indicated that when we love like he loves it would have a fresh impact on the world . . . people will know that we are followers of Jesus by the way we love each other. Our strongest testimony to the fact that Jesus died and rose again will be our love for each other.

Two more thoughts to ponder today:

1. Love was not a “suggestion”. It is a commandment.

2. People don’t go where the action is, they go to where the love is. (Jess Moody)

Suggested Readings To Read Through The Bible In A Year

Wed.   Sept. 14, 2011   Habakkuk, Psalm 69:1-15, Prov. 14, John 13

Thurs. Sept. 15, 2011   Zephaniah, Psalm 69:16-36, Proverbs 15, John 14-15

Fri.      Sept. 16, 2011   Jer. 1-2, Psalm 70, Prov. 16, John 16-17

Sat.     Sept.17, 2011   Jer. 3, Psalm 71:1-16, Prov. 17, John 18

Sun.    Sept.18, 2011   Jer. 4-5, Psalm 71:17-24, Prov. 18, John 19

Mon.  Sept. 19, 2011   Jer. 6-7, Psalm 72, Prov. 19, John 20-21

Tues. Sept. 20, 2011   Jer. 8-9, Psalm 73:1-14, Prov. 20, Acts 1





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