Summary: Jesus outlines the nature of discipleship in terms of three main elements 1) A New Commandment 2) A New Example and 3) A New Witness.
Jesus had already taught that the whole law of Moses was summed up in two great commandments:
Mark 12:28-33 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" Jesus answered, "The most important is, ’Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ’You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these." And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." (ESV)
Romans 13:8-10 Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, "You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet," and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. (ESV)
Galatians 5:14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." (ESV)
Genuine Christians have always had a tremendous impact on those around them:
Quote: Minucius Felix, the heathen, says of the Christians: ‘They love each other before knowing each other;’(Lange, J. P., & Schaff, P. (2008). A commentary on the Holy Scriptures : John (427). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.)
Illustration: The church leader Tertullian (ß.S.
Because they wouldn’t take even a pinch of incense and put it before the image of the emperor, the Romans felt they might be disloyal. Spies went into the Christian gatherings and came back with a report: “These Christians are very strange people. They meet together in an empty room to worship. They do not have an image. They speak of One by the name of Jesus, who is absent, but whom they seem to be expecting at any time. And my, how they love Him and how they love one another.” Now if spies came from an atheistic government to see whether Christianity is genuine and they came to (our) church, what would be the verdict?” (McGee, J. V. (1997, c1981). Thru the Bible commentary. Based on the Thru the Bible radio program. (electronic ed.) (4:456). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.) (Based on apology 39:7)
With the history of God’s expressed expectations that His people be a people of love, This love for one another is in the present tense (linear action), to “keep on loving.”(Robertson, A. (1997). Word Pictures in the New Testament. Vol.V c1932, Vol.VI c1933 by Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. (Jn 13:34). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.)