Summary: Jesus gives His disciples a new commandment.

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The New Commandment

John 13: 34 – 35

Jeff Hughes

I. Introduction

a. It’s always a privilege to teach from God’s Word, and when Pastor Ron asked me to teach tonight I was excited to get the chance to come and share with y’all.

b. So, first, to start, let me set the stage for our passage tonight. It’s in the Upper Room, and the Apostles are reclining at a Passover meal with THE Lamb, the one who would take away our sins. The night before though, unbeknownst to the other Apostles, Judas met with and plotted the betrayal of Jesus for the price of a slave. Earlier that day, Jesus sent Peter and John into the city to prepare the Upper Room, already furnished and ready, for that night’s meal. Jesus has washed the disciples’ feet. Judas has just left to betray the Son of God into the hands of sinful men, already having been paid by them. After Judas leaves though, the Lord passes some bread, and then a cup. He has just instituted the Lord’s Supper, which we celebrate here tonight. In this solemn moment, the Lord uses it to instruct to His followers gathered there. The Lord knows He is about to depart this world, and just like the wedding at Cana of Galilee, He saves the best for last. He gives them a new commandment.

c. Tonight, we are going to look at three points surrounding these events that shaped the church that emerged from that room because of that new commandment. The first point is the Commandment Jesus gave to them itself, the last He would give on the earth. The second is the extent of that commandment, a definition if you will, of it. And last, how living that commandment out in our lives is a sign to others that we are His followers.

d. Turn with me to the Gospel of John chapter 13. Follow along with me starting in verse 34.

e. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

f. Tonight, we will look at the Lord’s new commandment as we explore the text tonight.


a. Father God, We thank you for this day and the blessings of it. We ask Father God that you would bless the study of Your Word tonight. We ask that you would open our hearts to hear your Word, and to apply it to our lives. We praise you and glorify you tonight. In Jesus’s name,

III. Illustration

a. The 19th century evangelist, D.L. Moody tells a story I’d like to share with you: He says -

b. Show me a church where there is love, and I will show you a church that is a power in the community. In Chicago a few years ago, a little boy attended a Sunday school I know of. When his parents moved to another part of the city the little fellow still attended the same Sunday school, although it meant a long, tiresome walk each way. A friend asked him why he went so far, and told him that there were plenty of others just as good nearer his home.

c. "They may be as good for others, but not for me," was his reply.

d. "Why not?" she asked.

e. "Because they love a fellow over there," the boy replied.

f. This was a church where a person could find the love of Christ. Why else would the little boy walk miles to get there?

IV. Study

a. The New Commandment – John 13:34a

i. With that in mind, let’s get into our study. First, let’s look at the new commandment Jesus gave His disciples. We find this in verse 34, Where Jesus says -

ii. 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another;

iii. What is meant in the original language is not that the commandment is new in respect to form – not like “hey, I just bought a new car”. The newness here is more in respect to substance or freshness. It is more like a new paradigm. The commandment Jesus gave His disciples here was not unheard of - it was unprecedented.

iv. Now, it wasn’t a new thing for Jewish people to be instructed in loving others. In the Law of Moses, Leviticus 19:18, the people of Israel were commanded to love their neighbor as themselves.

v. So, the command to love is not new. How could this be a new commandment then? It’s new, it not new… IT get’s alittle confusing… let me see if I can explain. My 5-year-old daughter, Esther is an interesting little girl. Those of you that know her know what I am talking about. Well, Esther likes watching the Food Channel on TV of all things. Her favorite show is this chef guy, making all these exotic dishes… I think his name is Emeril or something. He’s always coming up with new stuff, and when he’s adding spices, he goes “BAM! BAM!” He says he’s “taking the dish up a notch”, by adding this new ingredient, or the finest this, or the best that, and when he’s done, he comes up with something that may look like meatloaf, or whatever, but tastes much different, much better. Well, that’s sort of what the Lord was doing here. The command to love might have looked similar to the old one at first glance, but it was new, it was different in substance.

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