John 13, 34
Something to read
I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.
New Revised Standard Version
To read the King James Version, click here
Something to think about
Given on the occasion of the last supper by Jesus to his disciples, this commandment is not entirely new. Jesus has already stated that love of neighbour is linked inextricably to the love of God and that together they are the fulfilment of the Torah. John reflects on this further in his first epistle (1 John 2 v7-8).
What is new is the injunction for the disciples to love each other as Jesus has loved them. In his relationship with the disciples, Jesus has set the standard, one which they are called to emulate in their relationship to each other. In turn, it emulates the love Jesus has shared with his Father.
As a tangible example of that standard of love Jesus has just washed the disciples’ feet, and commanded them to do the same. More importantly in the ensuing days they would come to see the full extent of Jesus’ love as he willingly offers up his life for those he loves.
This is the new commandment by which the new community of God’s people will be known and by which they will make the Lord known. (1 John 4 v7-16)
Something to do
What is an equivalent of washing feet? Think of a simple way you can emulate the standard of Jesus’ love for you in loving action for others. (A friend of mine washes up everyone’s coffee cup in his large open plan office – but only when no-one is there, so they don’t know it was him who did it…)
Something to pray
the well of love
and Father of all,
make us so to love
that we know not
but to love every man
in Jesus Christ your Son,
14th century collect
Today’s contributor is the Rev Jeremy Allcock, Vicar of St Stephen’s, Westbourne Park, west London, and Area Dean of Paddington.