Our scripture this morning is John 13:33-35.

Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

Jesus gives us a “new commandment”, to love one another. The commandment itself is not new – in Leviticus 19:18 God tells us to “love your neighbor as yourself”. Jesus repeats this verse when asked what is the greatest commandment  (Matthew 22:39). John repeats it in his first letter (1 John 3:11).

However, in this passage Jesus adds the qualifier “As I have loved you”. This amplifies the instruction substantially. We are not just to love, but to do so as Jesus has done for us. Jesus came as our example and this is the way we are to follow Him.

He also tells us that this will distinguish those who follow Him – “by this everyone will know you are my disciples”. The world will only know God’s love if we are willing to share the gift our Savior has given us. We are called to go in His name everywhere.

Gracious God, You created us in Your image and gave us Your love. Bless us to be eager servants of Your kingdom, loving one another as You first loved us. Amen.

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