Scripture Memory Meditation | John 13:34-35
I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34-35 (CSB)
If you knew that you only had a few weeks left to live, what would you want to communicate to your loved ones? Some might speak of their love or cherished moments. Others might take time to communicate their dying wishes. But whatever the person sought to communicate in these last moments would probably be the most significant to him.
We find Jesus in a somewhat comparable situation here in John 13:34-35. Except, Jesus doesn’t have a few weeks left to live, but just under a day left before his impending crucifixion. Judas has just left to betray Jesus into the hands of the Pharisees. In these last and heavy moments, Jesus begins to remind his disciples of crucial and important truths he wants them to grasp and hold on to.
What does Jesus want his disciples to know and remember? In these last moments, he calls them to remember and obey a new commandment. “Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you are also to love one another.” Jesus calls his disciples to obey this new commandment. Not new in the sense of being foreign, but new in the sense of loving one another as he has loved them! Which brings us to the question, how did Jesus love his disciples?
If we go back just a few verses, we are reminded how Jesus washed his disciple’s feet and cared for their needs. As a servant, he served in humility and meekness. He did not boast in his position or authority but gave of himself to his disciples. In this way, he loved his disciples.
But more importantly, Jesus would demonstrate this perfect love for his disciples in the coming hours. He would die a cruel and unjust death for the sake of his disciples. He would be nailed to a cross. He would be crowned with thorns. He would die a humiliating and torturous death on their behalf. While gruesome, Jesus’ perfect example serves as the basis for how his disciples are to love one another.
With this last command before his crucifixion, Christ’s disciples are now called to model the same kind of radical and selfless love to one another. In so doing, disciples of Christ make tangible Jesus’ love for all. We make Jesus’ presence on earth felt and known as the watching world sees Christ’s church building itself up in love.