Reflections on Jesus’ New Commandment

In his booklet on John 13:34-35 entitled “The Mark of a Christian,”

Francis Shaeffer called love ‘the final apologetic.’
The love of Christians for one another should be the distinguishing mark by which the world recognizes us as followers of Jesus.
Such mutual interest in and concern for each other
will arrest the attention of unbelievers.

This recognition from the world will both honor the name of Jesus Christ and incline people to listen to the gospel message.
We cannot expect the world to believe that the Father sent the Son,
that Jesus’ claims are true, and that Christianity is true,
unless the world sees some reality of Christ’s love in us.
– Francis Shaeffer

The passage traces two great movements of grace —
‘just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.’
The newness of the precept stems from
Jesus requiring that his disciples
love one another just as he loved them!
Jesus’ constant, sacrificial and unconditional love
must be the pattern for their attitude and relationships with one another.
There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.
– George Sand 

Everything in the world can be endured except a life without love.
– Adapted from Johann von Goethe

One word frees us of the weight and pain of life – that word is love.
Sophocles

The gospel creates a new community where love rules every relationship. The gospel completely transforms our human relationships.
The gospel energizes our friendships, our marriages,
our relationships with parents and children, with our peers
as well as those who are older and younger.
Without the gospel, we will either “provoke” those
to whom we feel superior or we will “envy” those
to whom we feel inferior.
But since the gospel has both humbled us
and yet has assured us of our lovedness,
we are now free from envy and pride, inferiority and superiority.
– Adapted from Tim Keller

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