Christ’s last command to us: love one another.
John 15:17 “These things I command you, that ye love one another.”
On the way to Gethsemane, Jesus held His last conversation with His disciples before His crucifixion.
He had more to say after this command….about the Holy Spirit….
…about the persecution which would come…..and the peace they should have in Him (John 14:27)…..and about asking in His Name…..and about joy (John 16:24)…
…but this was the last command Jesus gave His disciples…..and us.
That we should love one another.
Love in scripture means the heart’s determination to do for the one who is loved….all the good we can….no matter the cost….
….that is true love….and spiritually, it is a willed determination.
Some people say that love is just an emotion…..that it is the heart’s response to someone or something.
And I say,….yes, naturally, that is true.
But when it comes to us, spiritually, God deals with us through the will….
“If any man will come after Me, let him…” Matthew 16:24
“If any man will do His will, he shall know…” John 7:17
“And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” Revelation 22:17
Therefore when He says that we should:
Love the Lord with all thy heart….Mark 12:30
He means we should will to do so…
….and when He commands us to love one another….He intends that we should will to love each other.
And why was this the last command?
I believe, that the Lord was stressing His absence….He would soon be crucified, then raised, and ascended….gone from being in bodily presence.
But the other believers….brothers and sisters in Christ….would be here. And He was showing that if we love them….we are loving Him.
John 13:34 “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another, as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”
John recorded more instances of Jesus speaking about love than the other three gospels (Matthew—ten times; Mark—six times; Luke—ten times; John—nineteen times)….to love God, to love your neighbor, to love each other.
It is interesting that John is the gospel where Jesus asks Peter;….after His resurrection….”lovest thou Me more than these?”
Almost the whole last chapter is taken up with the story of Peter leaving Jerusalem…to “go a fishing”…..leading the other disciples to go, too.
And Jesus, manifesting Himself to them, on the shore….
….and restoring Peter….who had denied the Lord three times,…..
……with three affirmations of faith, and love….”yea, Lord (there is the faith), Thou knowest that I love Thee (there is the love).”
This chapter is almost a “P.S. I Love You”……to the whole book…..for John ends the chapter before this, with:
John 20:31 “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His name.”
Yet it could not be left hanging…..what would become of the one who denied the Lord Jesus, the night He was betrayed….
…..so the record of Peter….telling the Lord that he loved Him….(not that he believed in Him; for Peter was a believer, though he had sinned greatly)….but he told the Lord that he loved Him.
Even Peter could be forgiven….what tender mercies the Lord always shows.
John continues to stress that last command of the Lord’s…..
1 John 3:23 “And this is His commandment, That we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as He gave us commandment.”
(1 John is the fellowship book….it stresses the light and love of God….in us and through us.
It is also called the “know so” book….at least twenty-three times it says we “know”.
1 John 2:5 “But whoso keepeth His Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in Him.”)
John was mending nets when Jesus called him to follow Him (Matthew 5:21)…….and throughout his ministry, John sought “to mend” the doctrine of faith…..because of those who would add to, or subtract from the simple gospel of Christ.
He preached, and reminded the Church of the Words of Christ, the ministry of Christ…the death and resurrection of Christ…..and the commandments of Christ….always pointing to Him, who is Eternal Life…..
….for this is the ministry of everyone of us….to point others to Christ,….and remind them of Christ
1 John 4:7-11, 16 “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.
And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”
Christ’s last command was to “love one another”….
We should seek the welfare of all men….
…..but for the household of faith; we should love them….to do for them all the good we can….
….for Christ’s sake.