“And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also.” (1 John 4:21)
In this chapter of the Bible, John gives us ten reasons we must love. His last reason is that we have been given a commandment by Jesus that we must love one another. When Jesus was about to leave the apostles by way of His death on the cross, He left the apostles with a new commandment:
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35)
In our culture the concept of a commandment is lost for many people because we are so democratic in our values. The closest we come to understanding the meaning of this word is in our military training.
When my youngest brother was in training the order was given that the smoking lamp was out – which meant no smoking. In defiance he lit a cigarette. His Marine drill instructor ordered him to bury that cigarette in a grave six feet deep.
When my brother reported to the drill instructor all covered with mud and sweat, the instructor asked if he had buried the cigarette pointing north and south or east and west? When he wasn’t sure the drill instructor told him he had to do it again the next day and make sure it pointed north and south. The next time the no smoking order was given do you think my brother lit another cigarette?
Do you get the full weight of this commandment that we must love one another?
Dick Woodward, 06 August 2010