A New Commandment EGP Blog post from September 21, 2012

John 13:34–35 (NASB)

[34] “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. [35] “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

At first reading you might think, “New commandment? How is that ‘new’ compared to the two ‘greatest commandments’?” The two greatest commandments were to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” and “love your neighbor as yourself.” This commandment is to “love one another, even as I have loved you.” So, the audience and the capacity are different.

Whenever the term “one another” is used, it’s referring to being amongst group of people. It could be argued as to whether that group of people is other believers or just others in your life, but personally I think that it’s amongst believers, especially when looking at 1 John 3:16. “We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

The second part is not just to love them “as yourself,” but “as Jesus has loved us.” Later in this conversation, Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” While dying for someone is the ultimate sacrifice, sometimes the harder thing is to set aside what you want (or think you deserve) for what others need.

Philippians 2:5–8 (NASB)

[5] Have this attitude in° yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, [6] who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped°, [7] but emptied° Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. [8] Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on° a cross.

Philippians 2:5 Or among
Philippians 2:6 I.e. utilized or asserted
Philippians 2:7 I.e. laid aside His privileges
Philippians 2:8 Lit of

Key verses

Matthew 22:35–40; John 15:13