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A New Commandment

Posted by Pat Cooper on

How did Jesus love? We first think of Jesus on the cross. After all, scripture makes it plain: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends,” and that Jesus did. Clearly, however, we are not asked to die for the sins of others but we are given the command to love them, as Jesus says:

“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” — John 13:34–35

Granted, loving others was not a new concept. Jesus wasn’t offering a new and radical rule for the disciples to know and put into practice. To “love your neighbor as yourself” had been heralded to God’s people some 3,500 years earlier (See Leviticus 19:18). Nothing new. In Jesus’ words, he lifts the commonly understood meaning of the word love to a much higher place in thought and practice. Jesus wanted his followers to know that genuine love is not about warm, fuzzy feelings, goose bumps and so forth, but about an inborn spirit of care and concern for others that permeates every fiber of our being and radiates from us to those around us. This love Jesus displayed clearly in his passion from the cross.

This is not a love we come by naturally, but supernaturally, through a personal relationship with Jesus. It is not for the feint or lighthearted, as it will require sacrifice, biting your lip, looking the other way and turning the other cheek. But it will be so worth it in eternal rewards. If you have yet to do so, reach out to Jesus today, and learn to walk as he walked, in faith and sacrificial love.

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