John 13:34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
Every year on the Thursday before Easter we reflect on Jesus last orders before his crucifixion. In some english speaking traditions it is referred to as Maundy Thursday from the latin words “mandatum novum do vobis” – a new commandment I give you.
I distinctly remember the first time I was put on sentry duty at Beast Barracks. The upperclassmen asked me what my General Orders were. Promptly, I popped off with the response, “1.I will guard everything within the limits of my post and quit my post only when properly relieved. 2. I will obey my special orders and perform all my duties in a military manner. 3. I will report all violations of my special orders, emergencies, and anything not covered in my instructions to the commander of the relief.”
A sentry is supposed to follow their last orders and their intent until they are properly relieved or are given new instructions. Jesus gave us last orders that are still in full effect, “Love one another just as I have loved you.”
John’s gospel is the gospel where the word love is used more than any other gospel. Even within the gospel, the usage of the Greek root of “agape” we see a massive spike in its usage in the three chapters of John 13-15. These are Jesus’ conversations with his friends right before and during his last meal with us. John puts it this way:
John 13:1 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
The only power that was able to hold Jesus to the cross was Love. The only power that helps us keep our promises to another is Love Himself.
Let Love Himself transform the way we relate to everyone.