By Dr. Rick Chesher
In today’s society, the word love gets used a lot as we interact with people. We have friends that we may have known for sometime that we may say to them, Hey. I love you man, and they may say the same thing in return. Now, I am not here to evaluate whether you are sincere or not, but I am here to talk about what Scripture say’s about our love for one another.
In Scripture, specifically John 13:35 it says, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” Now, in this passage it says all men, by saying this Yahshua was making it a much broader section of people. We are not talking about just those that are believer’s, but all people will know that you are My disciples as Yahshua put it.
Now, from here we need to take a little bit broader look at what is being discussed here. This paragraph actually starts in John 13:31-35, and is called “The New Commandment”, and verse 35 is set at the end of verses that explain that Yahshua is being glorified by the Father, and that Yahshua is glorifying the Father. The reason I bring this up is that there is more than meets the eye, and we need to look at it.
We may be able to say that this passage is more about how to follow in His foot steps than just about loving one another. It may be more about glorifying the Father and the Son than it is just about loving one another. Otherwise why would Yahshua couch this idea about loving one another in the idea that He was leaving, and that He had glorified the Father, and the Father had glorified the Son?
Look at John 15:13 it says, “No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.” It is this verse that helps define what Yahshua is talking about in John 13:31-35, which in these verses are talking about Yahshua, who is about to die for the sins of the world, thereby glorifying the Father. So, the passage in John 13:31-35 has to do with glorifying Yahshua and our Heavenly Father through loving one another.
Look at 1 John 3:10, “This is how Yahweh’s children, and the Devil’s children are made evident. Whoever does not do what is right is not of Yahweh, especially the one who does not love his brother.” In 1 John 3:11-12-14, “For this is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another, unlike Cain, who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his works were evil and his brother’s righteous. Do not be surprised brothers, if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death.”
Turn to 1 John 3:16, “This is how we have come to know love: He laid His life down for us. We should also lay down our lives for our brothers.” So, John is saying the measurement of love is Yahshua, and the specific act that Yahshua did was the one that set the measurement of what love is, He laid His life down for His brother’s. Now, let’s go to John 3:16. “For Yahweh loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”
This actually takes us to a higher and deeper understanding what it means to love one another. Now, this may and has in the past, brought up the question of, who is my brother? The question I believe is answered in these passages of Scripture. In all of them there is a distinction made, and the distinct is between those that are in the world, or those who belong to the world, and are children of the Devil, and those that are Yahweh’s Children.
Now, I know that I have given you a lot of New Testament references, so the question comes up, is this really new? To answer this question, we really need to look at the languages being used here. First, there is the command in the Old Testament found in Leviticus 19:18 which says, “Do not take revenge or bear false grudge against a member of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself; I am Yahweh.” So, you might ask how could this be a New Command? The answer to that question may be found in the Greek language. There are a couple of different words in the Greek language used for New. One of them means New, but the other can mean New, but it can also be translated to mean unused. So, what Yahshua might be saying here is, I am giving you an unused command that you love one another.
If you will remember the trial of Yahshua, that is exactly what took placed. They were making up chargs that they could use to bring a charge of death against Yahshua and even the one they used was a made up charge so they could murder Yahshua. Remember, they didn’t even have two witnesses to be able to establish the truth. If you look at the history of Israel there was a problem with the idea of loving one another all long.
We can say the same thing about any where else in the world as well. The courts today, are tied up with law suits and husbands and wives don’t get along. They are not only divorcing and fighting over belongings, so, it would be easy to say that this command to love one another is pretty much an unused command today. Loving one another, using the measurement of laying our life down for one another is a foreign concept, but one we need to get back to. If we don’t it would be impossible for the world to see that we are Yahshua’s disciples.