Tuesday, October 2, 2007

The "New" in New Commandment

The Old Testament law commands us to love our neighbors. "You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord," Leviticus 19:18.

Why, then, does the New Testament reiterate this principle and label it as "new?" Isn't this the very same commandment?

John 13:34-35 says, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

The answer to these questions lie in Christ's fulfillment of the law. What makes this command brand new is the genuine love of Jesus. He instructed us to love one another in the same way He loved us! Such love will not only bring unbelievers to Christ; it will also keep believers strong and united in a world that is hostile to God.

Jesus explains in The Sermon on the Mount that He is the fulfillment of the Old Testament Law, "Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill," Matthew 5:17.

Our Lord Jesus is the ultimate example of genuine love. When others notice the love that we have for one another, they will be drawn to the Lord and He will be glorified.

Lord Jesus, thank You for helping me understand that the reason You came to earth was because of Your genuine love. Thank You that you demonstrated this love so that we might have an example. Thank You for teaching me how to love. Amen