34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
Thoughts: In what sense was this new? The Old Testament commands us to love our neighbor. Jesus had certainly said that we should love one another before. But it is new in that He asks us to love as He loved us. How do you tell where the Church exists? Is it where doctrine is perfect, or debate goes our way? As Fredrikson says "The distinguishing mark of discipleship is not programs and signs, wonders or eloquence or ecclesiastical power, but Christ's love in us that allows us to love one another." On Valentine's Day- we should remember our greatest example of human love is Jesus Christ who sacrificed his pride, his property, his comfort, his life for the good of the Church- for our good. Christ reminds us that human love is not all about what we can get, but what we can give.
Prayer: Help me, Lord, to love others on this day of love, because you have shown me the way to love others.
John Calvin Abridged: Christ calls this a new commandment because new commandments are easily remembered for their novelty. So Christ was asking his disciples to remember the command to love as if it were newly made. We may not be able to fully love as Christ loved, but we ought to still aim at this great goal of loving as He did. Whoever wants to be a disciple and to be acknowledge such by God, let them pursue love of other believers with great diligence.