The New Commandment, Love One Another
“I give you a new commandment,” said Jesus. “Love one another.”
He showed the newness of His command and how far the love He enjoined surpassed the old conception of mutual love by going on immediately to add: “Love one another as I have loved you.”
To understand the full force of these words, we have to consider how Chris loved us. Then it will be easy to see what is new and different in the commandment we are now given.
Do you not see what is new in Christ’s love for us? The law commanded people to love their brothers and sisters as they love themselves, but our Lord Jesus Christ love us more than Himself. He was one in nature with God the Father and His equal would not have descended to our lowly estate, nor endured in his flesh such a bitter death for us, nor submitted to the blows given Him by His enemies, to the shame, the derision, and ll the other sufferings that could not possibly be enumerated.
Nor, being rich, would He have become poor, had He not loved us far more than Himself. It was indeed something new for love to go as far as that!
Christ commands us to love as He did, putting neither reputation, nor wealth, nor anything whatever before love of our brothers and sisters.
If need be we must even be prepared to face death for our neighbor’s salvation as did our Savior’s blessed disciples and those who followed in their footsteps. To them the salvation of others mattered more than their own lives, and they were ready to do anything or suffer anything to save souls that were perishing.
The Savior urged us to practice this love that transcends the law as the foundation of true devotion to God. He knew that only in this way could we become pleasing in God’s eyes, and that it was by seeking the beauty of love implanted in us by Himself that we should attain to the highest blessings.
Courtesy of Holy Myrrh-Bearers Church