LIVING THE 'NEW COMMANDMENT' TODAY

ON THE NIGHT BEFORE HIS CRUCIFIXION, Jesus spent part of the evening with his disciples. He may well have thought deeply about how they would carry forward the work and ideas of his world-changing ministry. He might even have felt a sense of urgency. What we know for sure is that he told his disciples something of vital importance. He said: "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another" (John 13:34, 35).

This commandment sums up the fundamental thrust of Jesus' teaching—that love must be the generating force in the thought and actions of Christians. And he set a standard that each of us can strive to achieve. But how do we do that? First, by recognizing that the ability to love isn't personal virtue. For, despite his incredible record of healing, Jesus humbly acknowledged, "I can of mine self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30). So we can be assured that God will provide the patience, energy, compassion, and understanding we need to do His will. And because the source of our being is God—Love itself—the ability to love others is intrinsic, a natural state of being.

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June 6, 2005
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