Lent Devotional: John 13:34-35
by Jonathan Haefs
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. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
What made this command new?
It’s not as if God had never commanded his people to be a loving community. In fact, the whole of the Law was often summarized as love of God and love of neighbor. How could there possibly be anything new about this command?
The “newness” is found not in the command to love one another, but in the description of what that love looks like. Jesus disciples were to love one another JUST AS HE LOVED THEM.
Their love was to mirror his love. This is how the world would know who actually belonged to Jesus as one of his followers… they would see their love and say, “Their love looks just like the love that we saw from Jesus himself.”
Well what kind of love has Jesus shown us?
Cruciform love. Sacrificial love. Humble love that gives itself so that the one loved might now joy in Jesus forever.
Jesus had just shown this love through the washing of his disciples feet, and in just a little while this love would literally be poured out of his veins upon the cross. Christ looks at the community of his followers and tells them to display the love of the cross before the world! He tells them to be a cruciform community!
Where do you get your definition of love from? As you think about what it means to love God and love your brothers and sisters in Christ… how are you defining what that love looks like?
Does your idea of love come from Hollywood? Or Friends? Or your own experiences? Jesus is calling to you and to me, commanding us to have our concept of love shaped by his cross.
Look upon the cross of Christ and hear his new command… “Love one another: JUST AS I have loved you.”
Be a cruciform community.