31 Mar 2015

Holy Week 2015: The “New” Commandment

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Tuesday, March 30, 2015
John 13:31-35

In advertising, products are always being touted as “new and improved”, even when they barely fit either description. In this passage, Jesus teaches His disciples a “new” commandment. In a way, it’s not really a new commandment. In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus is asked which commandment is the greatest and He responds that the greatest is “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength.” As an addendum, Jesus explains that this commandment manifests itself clearly in the action of loving your neighbors.

So, how can Jesus claim to give the disciples (and His followers) a “new” commandment that isn’t really new. Is he just hyping His latest teaching point? No. There really is something new and different about this commandment, which we will look at carefully.

  1. Compare this passage with Matt. 22:34-40. How do the two commandments differ? How are they similar?
  2. According to John 13, what is the foundation/reason for loving one another? How is that different from an Old Testament command to love others?
  3. Why do we have such a hard time loving other people?
  4. What are some concrete ways you can love people? Think about specific people in your life.
  5. According to the passage, what happens when we love people? Why is this important.
  6. Think about some of your deficiencies when it comes to loving people. Pray that Jesus’ love for you becomes your reason for loving others. And, ask God to help you love the people in your life.
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