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"When he was gone, Jesus said, 'Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in Him. If God is glorified in Him, God will glorify the Son in Himself, and will glorify Him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me and, just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now. Where I am going you cannot come.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.'" John 13:31-35 NIV.
Was Jesus talking to Himself at that moment? Is almost sounds like it, doesn't it?
As soon as Judas was out of the picture, He breathed a sigh of relief, With Judas gone, the tension in the room lifted. He could now concentrate on what was most important to Him, putting His Father's glory on display during the coming hours of His passion. It was up to Him to live through those hours right to His last breath in the disposition of the Father -- gracious, compassionate, slow to anger and full of love and faithfulness, forgiving sin...
He had another important task to fulfil. This was the moment when He would gather up all the teachings of the Old Covenant into one pithy but powerful instruction couched in three words -- "Love one another!" Paul caught the spirit of Jesus' words when he wrote, "Let no debt remain outstanding except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law...Love does no harm to his neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfilment of the law." Romans 13:8; 10 NIV.
There is a positive and negative side to this commandment which Paul sums up in Romans 13. There is no sentimentality in this kind of loving, just practical involvement with others. Here is a simple definition of this love -- meeting the needs of others at one's own expense. Isn't that what Jesus did? The other side is simply refraining from doing anything that would hurt another person.
There is much discussion, preaching and teaching about what believers in Jesus are supposed to do with the law. It is subdivided into moral law and ceremonial law. Some say that we are obliged to keep the moral law but not the ceremonial law. Some groups teach and practise strict adherence to parts of the ceremonial law, like the dress code and the food laws. Others insist that, because we are under grace, the law does not apply to us at all.
Firstly, we must ask, "Why did God give His people the law in the first place?" For two reasons: To show them what He was like, and to show them how impossible it was to live up to His perfect standards. Jesus was a perfect human being and He perfectly kept the law. We cannot possible hope to live like He did, perfectly loving God and His neighbour.
Secondly, if God knew that we could never reach His standard, did He do away with the standard? No way! What did He do with the law? He placed it and all our debt to the broken law on Jesus at the cross. Jesus gave us a new commandment which perfectly sums up everything He requires of us in three words -- LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Now instead of rummaging through the Ten Commandments and all 613 laws of the Old Covenant to find which one would suit the circumstance, we can turn to the Holy Spirit who is in us and ask, "How do I love in this situation?" He not only shows us how but gives us the power to do it.
"And hope does not put us to shame because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who had been given to us." Romans 5: 5 NIV.
Is Jesus command impossible to keep? Not if we love Him. “’If you love me, keep my commands.'" John 14:15 NIV.
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."1 John 4:10, 11 NIV.
This is dynamite in a very small package!
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