A new commandment I give to you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
Christ is our Lawgiver as well as our Saviour. And He made obedience to His laws the test and the manifestation of love to Him (John 14:15). The Church of Christ is in fact the spiritual Israel. Israel according to the flesh had their laws fitted for their place in God's purposes; we have ours adapted to our position also. And we may well be thankful when we compare the two codes together. Theirs, as necessary in a state of imperfection and bondage, was cumbrous and intricate. Of all the commands of the old law, none remain for us, but those which are based on the nature of God, and His attributes. And our new commandment comes to us, not sanctioned by lightnings and thunderings, etc. — but from the dying lips of our dearest Friend; it is prefaced by His deed of deep humiliation, is embosomed in His words of consolation and peace — is enforced by His own constraining example. A new commandment. And what is it which we are to hear from the lips of Divine wisdom, after such an announcement? Long had the world disobeyed His law written in the conscience; and then He defined that law, and wrote it on tables of stone, and set apart a people for Himself, among whom it might be observed. But that people had rejected Him, and disobeyed His laws. And now, what new commandment will He promulgate to His rebellious world? What, to the Gentile, sunk in moral degradation — what to the Jew, mocking Him with empty hypocrisy? Shall it not surpass in strictness and in terror all that have gone before? Shall it not be such as to awe the passions into submission to awaken the conscience into energy, to drive the sinner to repentance or to his doom? Nay! Can He, who invited to Him the weary and heavy laden, speak aught but words of gentleness and comfort? Had God's new revelation of His will been an increase in severity, would this Messenger have been sent to make it? Anew commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another.
Parallel VersesKJV: A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.