Series: Discovering the Life Changing Gospel
A New Twist on an Old Command
John 13:31–38 (HCSB)
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself and will glorify Him at once.” 33 “Children, I am with you a little while longer. You will look for Me, and just as I told the Jews, ‘Where I am going you cannot come,’ so now I tell you. 34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 36 “Lord,” Simon Peter said to Him, “where are You going?” Jesus answered, “Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you will follow later.” 37 “Lord,” Peter asked, “why can’t I follow You now? I will lay down my life for You!” 38 Jesus replied, “Will you lay down your life for Me? I assure you: A rooster will not crow until you have denied Me three times.”
- THE HIGHEST DEMONSTRATION OF CHRIST’S LOVE—SELF-SACRIFICE (13:31-33)
- The cruel Roman cross-designed to bring shame now brings glory!
- Jesus has been prepared all along to give himself for us.
John 10:11 (HCSB)
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.”
John 15:13 (HCSB)
13 No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.
1 John 3:16 (HCSB)
16 This is how we have come to know love: He laid down His life for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers.
- THE FINEST EXAMPLE OF CHRIST’S LOVE—LOVE ONE ANOTHER (13:34-35)
- Jesus described the most important distinguishing factor for Christians—love.
- The command to love one another was not new, but it set a new standard for two reasons:
1) It was sacrificial love modeled after Jesus’ love for us.
2) It was produced out of the new covenant.
1 John 3:11 (HCSB)
11 For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another.
2 John 5 (HCSB)
5 So now I urge you, dear lady—not as if I were writing you a new command, but one we have had from the beginning—that we love one another.
- THE POWERFUL EXTENT OF CHRIST’S LOVE—STRENGTH FOR TODAY, ETERNAL LIFE FOR THE FUTURE (13:36-38)
- Only Jesus could go to the cross and pay for the sins of the world.
1 Peter 2:22–24 (HCSB)
22 He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in His mouth; 23 when He was reviled, He did not revile in return; when He was suffering, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the One who judges justly. 24 He Himself bore our sins in His body on the tree, so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness; you have been healed by His wounds.
- His sacrifice gives us strength to face what may come in this life.
- His promise gives us eternal life in the future.
The old covenant required us to love God with all we have and to love others the way we love ourselves. Jesus brings new meaning into the new covenant with His example of self-sacrifice and eternal hope as He commands us to love one another.