Read John 13:34-35.
"A new command I give you: Love one another" (John 13:34a). At first, we might think, "How is this a new command? Didn't Jesus already identify the first and second most important commandments as loving God and loving our neighbors?" (see Matthew 22:35-40). Thankfully, Jesus gives us the answer in the very next sentence: "As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34b). That's what's new. No one had ever experienced a love like Jesus' love. His love is beyond any the world has ever known. Then Jesus teaches them, "By this everyone will know that you are my disciples" (v. 35). Friends, we are to love as Jesus loved. We will truly be seen as His disciples when we become like Him.
Jesus gives them a clear picture of the kind of action that exhibits His unparalleled love.
Before Jesus shares this imperative with the disciples, He gives them a clear picture of the kind of action that exhibits His unparalleled love. In the middle of their meal, Jesus gets up and washes each of His disciples' feet. Back then, people were either barefoot or wore flimsy sandals, and they walked everywhere on dirt roads where animals also tread.
In those days, the job of foot washing always fell to the lowest servant in the house. And yet Jesus, the King of kings, the Alpha and the Omega, grabs a towel and begins scrubbing toes. That's amazing enough. But Jesus knows Judas has already agreed to betray Him (see Luke 22:3-6; Matthew 26:14-25). And yet Jesus washes his feet.
Truth be told, all the disciples abandon Him in just a few hours. And yet, Jesus "loved them to the end" (John 13:1). His is not mortal love. His love is not self-serving nor possessive. Christ's love is a brand-new, supernatural love, unmatched in all the world. It's a love we, as His disciples, are called to practice.
However, we cannot manufacture this kind of love. We can only love like this when we allow God's love to flow through us, which requires total dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
There's nothing easy about this kind of love. But when we keep before us the tremendous gift of God's grace—all that God has forgiven us—we will be ready to extend that same grace to those around us.
Prayer: Father, Your humility and love are astounding. May I live out this incredible love to others by the power of Your Spirit. I want to be a conduit of Your love to those You bring into my life. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another" (John 13:34).
Learn more in Dr. Michael Youssef's sermon Can You Pass the Three Tests?, Part 2: LISTEN NOW