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[7] Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. [8] At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining. (1 John 2:7-8)

Was it a new command or an old command? John seems to be grasping for words that would adequately paint a picture of his friend, Jesus. At one point, he claimed that it was a command that was from the beginning. It’s ancient. It’s the very ground the cosmos stand upon. And yet, he stated it was a new command. Well, which was it? Was the command new or old?

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to go a PGA event in Denver. I’m a big golf fan and I love watching the sport on television. I also love to play golf. However, seeing it in person changed the whole game for me. I know the rules of golf and I know how to swing a club and keep score, and what I do on the course in some ways resembled what I saw at the BMW invitational – but the way the pros played completely redefined the sport! It was something altogether different.

The command to love was nothing new. The Old Testament Scriptures were clear when they stated in Leviticus 19:18, “You shall not take vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.” But when Jesus gathered his disciples around himself and gave them their marching orders, he stated, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (John 13:34). It’s in this passage that Jesus tells us what’s new about his command – “love… as I have loved you.” The new part is not the content of the command, but rather the extent to which followers of Jesus were called to take it.

In the same way that professional golfers redefine the sport of golf, Jesus redefined the calling to love. The way that Jesus lived out the command to love made it new. Jesus loved his enemies. Jesus loved to the point of death. The extent of Jesus’ love was so great John stated, “we love because (and only because) he first loved us.” Jesus’ love was costly, extravagant, and completely unearned. It redefined the term. It made the command… new. And as his followers, he calls and commissions us to walk in this same love.

We are often fairly hard on ourselves, but my guess is, there are a number of times in this last week where you have lived out the kind of love Jesus modeled. Think about one such time and celebrate it. Thank God for it. And be on the lookout for more opportunities model his love this week. [/vc_column_text][us_separator height=”25px” size=”custom”][vc_column_text]

By Ryan Paulson  

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