LOVE ONE ANOTHER JUST AS I HAVE LOVED YOU
31When he had gone out, Jesus said,
“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and glorify him at once.
33Little children, yet a little while I am with you. You will seek me, and just as I said to the Jews, so now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going you cannot come.’
34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
Judas the betrayer just had left to hand over our Lord Jesus to the Temple guards to be delivered to the Sanhedrin and be executed (John 13:26-30).
Knowing his approaching passion, Lord Jesus proclaimed in loud voice his prompt glorification through his atoning sacrifice, and that also GOD the Father was being glorified through this act; because Jesus knew that that was the will of the Father.
To his beloved disciples, who had followed Him closely for 3 years in an active and involved public ministry, and that had shared with faith and dedication all events in Jesus’ life; Lord Jesus said that ‘where He was going, they could not follow Him’.
What did He mean with this?
Firstly, that they could not participate in the atoning death of the Lord, since only Jesus qualified for that act. Only Jesus was totally free of sin, and only He was divine. Only his death could pay for the sins of all humanity, nobody else could.
Secondly, Jesus needed his apostles alive and well to continue with his redemptive work on Earth. Jesus was going back to the Father, but the disciples had to stay on Earth to preach the gospel of faith and repentance, and baptize the new converts.
The Apostles were promised to be with their Lord eventually, but not yet (John 14:2-4). They still had work to do.
But instead, Jesus gave them a new commandment, which in reality was not new (John 13:34; Leviticus 19:18), but this time was given with his own sacrifice as an example to follow. JESUS told them to love one another as He had loved them, even to the point of giving his life for us (John 15:12-13).
No other religion in the world, neither Islam, or Buddhism, or Hinduism or any other has the same teaching, command and legacy as true Christianity has, the ‘Love for one another’.
JESUS said that through this love, people will recognize Jesus’ disciples, or his true followers.
JESUS did not say through this church, or denomination people will recognize you, neither that through a certain creed or belief system, but only through the ‘love for one another the same way I loved you’.
He said this, because the true disciples of Christ. The true Christians, are those who live according to the teachings of Jesus, primarily love as the capstone of their lives. Not any love. They were not hippies. Love in the Name of Jesus, as He loved humanity.
People can belong to any church, or profess any creed, but if they do not live the Christian love, they are dead. The membership in the ‘true church’ or professing the ‘apostolic creed’ will avail to nothing, and they will be found faulty in the day of Judgement.
BUT those born again through the Holy Spirit, who live the Christian life to the full, even to the point of loving the same way Jesus loved us, can belong to any denomination, or even to none; and profess or not the creed, but their love for one another indicates that they are children of God, through faith in JESUS, who saves them, and honor Him by living the lives the way He wanted us to live.