2 Samuel 5:13-6:23; John 13:31-38; Psalm 119:17-24; Proverbs 25:16
NT: ““I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”” (John 13:34-35 CSB)
After Judas left to finalize his plans to betray Jesus, Jesus once again told His disciples that He was about to leave them, and then gave them this command. The greatest command is to love God completely. The second greatest command is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. This third command is a new command given by Jesus to His disciples: that they would love each other in the same way He loved them. The word Jesus used for ‘love’ in these passages is the Greek word agapeo. Simply put, agapeo is agape love expressed toward someone. Agape is that unconditional love that is only possible with God and those to whom God graces to love in that way. It was of utmost importance to Jesus that His disciples walk in the same love that He walked in… that they would unconditionally and sacrificially love their fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord… that they would walk in a love that transcended disagreements or preferences or societal and economic differences. Love like this goes way beyond mere tolerance. Love like this is not making people ”happy” by giving them what they want. It is truly desiring the best for someone else, even if it causes us lack or suffering. If we are truly following Jesus by faith and loving obedience, then He will grace us with His love for our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. When “Christians” have animosity towards one another, they are declaring to the world that they are not truly disciples of Jesus… that they have allowed something or someone else to displace Jesus as their primary pursuit and point of focus. However, if the love of Christ is evidenced in us by our unconditional and sacrificial love for our brothers and sisters in Christ, we will stand in stark contrast to the world and everyone will know that we are walking with Jesus.