34 “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.
35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
To understand these verses we need to know it contextually:
Prior to this Scripture, in John 13:21-30, Judas’s betrayal is foretold.
After this Scripture, in John 13:36-38, Peter’s betrayal is foretold.
How interesting, nestled in the middle of these two passages, Jesus gives a new command to love. In a prophetic sense, He is implying that they should love in the same manner He is about to show His, on the cross, committed even to death to those who will betray Him.
I also think it’s amazing how tied into this are the words “I give to you.” The Greek verb here is δίδωμι, and is translated “give.” It literally means to bestow, cause, deliver, give, grant, or offer. Jesus GIVES us a different response to use. Notice it is a gift, not a mandate or a burden, but a gift from God Himself! He grants unto us LOVE as our response to one another, and we find this nestled in-between two stories of betrayal!
Then hangs this powerful phrase, “by this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” This marks a believer. This is literally part of the bedrock on which people will know who His disciples are. Not just people who speak about truth, but those who demonstrate it by living out love, regardless of the circumstances. Jesus loved those who unjustly and brutally murdered Him….quite an example to follow. We have no excuse.
Reflect with me for a moment on a couple thoughts…
A healthy family is one that is fully dedicated to each other, even in difficulty.
A winning football team must work as a cohesive team to win. The more committed they are, the better they play.
A church that changes the world is one that learns to be a healthy family and a cohesive team, both leadership and laypeople alike.
Remember, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
I want to end with a quote:
“Deep longings pervade the human heart. We long for selfless, trustworthy, unending love from someone who can be faithful and helpful.”