May 30, 2024

Bob Maas
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.
1 John 4:7
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
John 15:12, 17

Shortly before Jesus went to the cross, He told His disciples that He was giving them a new command. For a time I was perplexed why Jesus called it new. It sounded very similar to the Great Commandment. Then, after meditating on the passage, I discovered a great contrast in the way we are to love. The Great Commandment tells us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. In the New Commandment, we are told to love one another as He loved us. Jesus laid down His life for us, and we are told to lay down our lives for each other.

That is why the New Testament emphasizes the importance of loving each other the way Jesus did. Christ left us an example that we are to follow in His steps. As a young Christian, I read a book by Charles M. Sheldon, “In His Steps.” It was a novel written in 1897 about following Jesus, and there was a phrase in it that asked, “What Would Jesus Do?” Almost a hundred years later, in the 1990s, someone came up with a bracelet with the letters “WWJD,” which reminded people to ask the same question.

As we grow in our faith and experience a greater depth of God’s love, we will find ourselves asking that same question. Invariably, the answer we get will be something along the theme of loving everyone we meet with a greater degree of love and compassion.