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Mustard Seed January/February 2013
A New Commandment
Letter From the Editor
Will The Middle East War Succeed?
The Twinkling of An Eye
A New Commandment
Mustard Seed - January/February 2013
Jesus Christ clearly stated the two great commandments from which all the Law is derived:
MATTHEW 22:36-40 Master, which is the great commandment in the law? 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
There is nothing new about either of these as the first is quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5 and the second from Leviticus 19:18. In fact, the law of love existed long before the existence of mankind because God IS love (1 John 4:8, 16), so the law of love has existed eternally.
However, consider what Jesus said after Judas left the table during the Passover:
JOHN 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Jesus calls this a NEW commandment; but why is this new? The law to love others was recorded thousands of years prior; however, notice that Jesus directs the disciples to love “one another” and doesn’t mention their “neighbors”. Why did Jesus single out the relationships of disciples? Were the disciples so hard hearted that they needed to be admonished to love one another? Was He implying that they didn’t need to love their neighbors?
Jesus came to fulfill spiritual understanding of the law so a new COMMANDMENT is not only surprising but critical for Christians to understand. The law of love is fulfilled in keeping God’s commandments (John 14:15) so a new commandment of love is really a conundrum because the commandments were also given thousands of years before.
MATTHEW 5:43-48 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. 44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. 46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? 48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
These scriptures confirm that Jesus wasn't telling the disciples to show love among themselves; instead, they were to show love toward ALL mankind. So we are still left with the question: what is the NEW commandment? The answer to that lies in comparing what was said in the beginning to what Jesus said during the Passover. Look at what God said originally:
LEVITICUS 19:18 ...thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD.
Now, look again at what Jesus told the disciples:
JOHN 13:34-35 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
The original commandment was based upon love of SELF, something the physical Israelites could understand. Only those begotten of God are able to understand the love of God.
1 JOHN 4:7-8 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is
born(begotten) of God, and knoweth God. 8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
It was only with God's Spirit IN us that mankind could understand the love of GOD. That Passover was the appointed time for Jesus to make known the fullness of the commandment that God's people are to love AS JESUS CHRIST LOVED US! That is the NEW commandment. In fact, the Greek word for "new" doesn't mean the opposite of old as in age. It means "unheard of" or "fresh". This was something the world had never heard. The standard for the law of love was no longer based upon physical, human behavior but upon God. In this commandment, Jesus Christ completed the work He mentioned in Matthew 5:17 – "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil."
Brethren, we fulfill God's work in us if we perfect His love in us:
1 JOHN 4:16-17 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. 17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.
Let God's love REIGN in our hearts!