“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13: 34-35
In the passage above, Jesus is speaking to his disciples shortly before his death on the cross. There is so much that happens right before these two verses in John. Right before Jesus gives this new commandment, he washes the feet of his disciples.
Washing one’s feet was something that was reserved for folks who were seen as having a lower status socially, politically, and economically. To be blunt, this was a task that was given to the “other”. Yet, instead of a big sermon or speech, we read in this story that Jesus removes his outer clothing (a sign of humility) and kneels down to wash the feet of his disciples.
In this action of service and love, Jesus completely flips the script. Jesus was the Rabbi, Master, Teacher, he was the one to follow, to learn from and frankly, he was the one you would serve and look up to, not the other way around. Yet, here we are watching Jesus live out love through action and humility.
After this, Jesus offers a new commandment, Jesus knows that his disciples are well aware of the 10 Commandments and that they take them very seriously, so he is making sure that it is known that this is a new commandment, one that is to be taken seriously. But, he doesn’t end there. He doesn’t just say it is a commandment, he says that people will know that they are his disciples if they have love for one another.
It is the beginning of a new year, so many of us have various resolutions, goals, and more for the year. We have various hopes and dreams for the year, and we may have various fears as well. Yet, Jesus’ example and call to love one another is the same last year, this year, and next year.
How will you love others today?
Tomorrow: “Loving our Neighbor When Its Hard”