Summary: Message 2 in the One Anothers series, this sermon deals with Jesus's new commandment for believers to love one another.

Love One Another

Message 2 in “One Anothers” series

Chuck Sligh

September 8, 2013

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: This sermon is loosely adapted from Mike Jeffress sermon titled, “Jesus’ New Command" found on

TEXT: John 13:34 – “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”


Mike Jeffries tells about returning home from a trip to find taped to his office door one of the most touching letters he had ever received. It read:

Hi Pastor I Love You

Verey verey verey

verey verey

verey verey verey

verey verey verey

verey verey verey

verey verey verey

verey verey verey

verey verey much much

much much much

much much

Love Jenny

very much

Oh, it’s nice to be loved, isn’t it?

• Love is the MOST PRECIOUS COMMODITY any of us has.

• It’s THE GREATEST GIFT we can receive or give.

• It’s THE MOST INTIMATE FEELING we can share.

• After all, as the song accurately says, it’s what “makes the world go ’round.”

Why is love such an awesome thing? Because it’s rooted in the very nature of God. John tells us twice in his first letter that “God is love.” And love is a subject Jesus taught and demonstrated every day He walked on this earth.

Last Sunday we began a series on some of the “One Another” statements or commands of the New Testament, starting last week with Paul’s reminder that we are members of one another and therefore we should see both the importance both of our ourselves and of many other people of various backgrounds and points of view in the local church.

Today’s “one another” command comes from the mouth Jesus in our text this morning: “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

I suppose there’s aren’t many more important teachings in the New Testament than this one.

• Jesus Himself said that love was part of the weightier matters of the law.

• He also said love for God and love for others are the two greatest commandments.

• The Apostle Paul reiterated the importance of love when he said in 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 – “Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (i.e., love), I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.”

So there’s NOTHING more worthy of our time and study this morning than this text. In a sense, you can say that all the “One Another” statements and commands hinge on this one command for us to love one another.

What I’d like to do is just break this verse down into its two parts and apply it to our lives.

I. NOTICE FIRST A PRECEPT TO OBEY – Jesus said, “A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another…”

Up to this point in His ministry, Jesus had taught his disciples to love their ENEMIES, and to love GOD with all their being, and to love their NEIGHBORS as themselves. But this is the first time Jesus gives them this command to love ONE ANOTHER, so it truly was a new commandment.

Why is this new commandment needed when God’s people already had the commands to love their neighbors as themselves? Well, if you take a look at Jewish religious life in the first century, you’ll find there wasn’t a whole lot of love goin’ around. The people were divided into Pharisees and Sadducees; students of Rabbi Hillel and Rabbi Shammai; Herodians and Zealots; and on and on. (Not much has changed, has it?) God’s people were greatly divided when Jesus gave this new command.

• They weren’t loving FOREIGNERS in their land: Most hated the ROMANS.

• They didn’t love their NEIGHBORS as themselves: Most Jews despised their neighbors to the north—the SAMARITANS.

• They were greatly divided over issues of practice: How much effort you could expend to get your ox out of the ditch on the Sabbath?; How many paces you could walk on the Sabbath without it being considered work—dumb stuff like that.

Simply speaking, they didn’t love one another.

Jesus knew that very shortly the church would be birthed, so He calls his disciples back to the basics—because if we can’t love ONE ANOTHER, then we certainly can’t love God, our neighbors, foreigners, and our enemies as we should. As a church, if we don’t love one another WITHIN our church body, we can forget trying to share Christ’s love with the lost in this community OUTSIDE our doors.

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