Jesus Christ gave us a commandment: that we must love one another (John 13:34) – and He does use the word “must”. He also says that our doing this will be a special sign that we are His followers; there will be an attraction about it that will draw people to us, and Him (v35).
Jesus also says what kind of love this will be – i.e., “just as I have loved you”. How has He loved us?…. He has loved us in grace – i.e., we are sinners who do not deserve His love or help; and He has loved us selflessly – i.e., sacrificing His desires, needs, comfort and peace – His very life, in order to give us the greatest possible good – i.e., salvation and eternal life.
How do we relate to those around us?…. Do we love in grace – i.e., all, whoever they are, including those who don’t deserve it, and maybe our enemies, or only our friends? Do we put the desires, peace and comfort of others first, or our own desires, peace and comfort?
The reason that we will love others as Jesus has loved us, is because His love changes us. If we don’t love others in the way that Jesus has loved us, it means that we haven’t received His love. Let’s get real about Jesus’ love for us, get it into us, and love others in grace, and selflessness!
Grace and peace, Jonathan.