“So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
Jesus had just sent Judas Iscariot out into the night to carry out His plan to sell out Jesus to the awaiting religious leaders. Jesus knows what Judas is goung to do. Judas knows what he plans and has conspired with the religous leaders to do. The disciples are in the middle of figuring it out!
Jesus has just told them clearly that He’s about to die. He’s made it clear that He’s going away and that for now, they can’t follow where He’s going. You’d think He’d tell them to watch out, be careful or even to pray. No, His next “departing comment” is to tell them to love each other! He, in fact, COMMANDS them to do this! And not to just love them like friends or siblings love each other (phileo in greek) but to love AS HE had loved (agape in greek). This meant sacrificing and serving each other. Remember, He’d just assumed the role of a servant moments before and had humbly washed their feet! It meant being willing to die for each other they way He would the next day!
Jesus said loving the way He loved would PROVE that they were His disciples!
In the bigger picture, Jesus was leaving earth to return to heaven and was leaving them to do for each other, as well as an on-looking world, what He had done for 3+ years. In fact, that’s what He’s left us, Christ followers, here on earth to do too!
Maybe our motto should be, “do onto others as JESUS has done unto you!”
Think about it!