A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
We have already covered in a previous devotional where Jesus informed the lawyer trying to trick Him what the two greatest commandments are: Love God with everything you have, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.
That was not the only instance where Jesus made it crystal clear that to love our fellow man is not something He would really, really like us to do, but is a commandment. Jesus feels strongly about the things He has commanded us to do. In John 14:15 Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” If we love Jesus, if we are one of His, we will strive to do as he says; in our devotional verse we learn that He commands us to love one another.
Isn’t that fairly simple? If we love Jesus, we will love one another.
How did God love us? John 3:16 tells us that:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
“The world” is from an obscure Greek word which means “everybody in the world.” Okay, it’s not really obscure; it simply means what it says. The point is, we are to love the world as well. Before anyone gets excited and starts telling me that The Bible says not to love the world, let me define. Loving the world means loving the people of the world, not the things of the world.
Just in case the point was not clear, let’s recap what Jesus had to say about His commandment to love.
John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another
John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
1 John 4:21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.
Got all that? Seems pretty clear. In later daily studies, we will discus just what it means to love our fellow man, and some ways in which we can do it.