vv 34-35. So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.
Here is the most radical commandment that Jesus ever gave – and Peter, bless his heart – wasn’t listening! Doesn’t his reply tell you he was stuck on what Jesus said before that (v 33)? His immediate response was ‘Simon Peter asked, “Lord, where are you going?” ‘ (v 36)
Jesus lets the disciples know that He is going to leave them and return to His Father. In the light of that He gives the commandment that love should continue in their relationships with one another. The source of all love is about to return to Glory and so He commands His disciples to keep love alive – they are to love others as He has loved them.
NOW – dear reader – are you like Peter, or are you listening?
Love is not an option; you don’t love someone just because you like them, and then ignore others because they are … well… not so likeable. The command is to love one another. FULL STOP.
We have missed out on a great deal of fellowship and practical expressions of love through the CoVid pandemic. The old ‘Normal’ has evaporated and we are not quite sure what the new normal will be. But whatever arrangements we come to let love be at the heart of our relationships, and may that love convince our community that we are Jesus’ disciples.