By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.
Love was to be the grand distinctive sign which hence on through all the ages was to denote, distinguish, and define the followers of Jesus from all other guilds, schools, creeds, and combinations under heaven. The Pharisee was known by his broad phylactery, the Sadducee was known by his contempt for ritual and his ostentatious contrast to the rival sect. The priests and scribes were marked out by their peculiar robes; the Roman, by his toga, or the eagle on his helmet according as he was citizen or soldier. Today the Brahmin is known by the mystic character cut upon his breast and brow, and the Mahometan by his headgear. The soldier's red, the sailor's blue, the cleric's black — by this, that, and the other sign, classes, creeds, professions, preferences, races, are distinguished the wide world over. Some time ago there was quite a warm burst of indignation from our Scottish fellow countrymen because the distinctive plaids and colours of the tartan, which denote the difference between the Campbell, the Mackintosh, and Macgregor, were in peril. Well, to those who are Israelites indeed, those who are enlisted under the banner of the Lion of the tribe of Judah, those who are faithful followers of Jesus, and bend a loyal knee to Him of the Crown of Thorns — to these Jesus says, "I institute a new order. In it neither star, ribbon, medal, stripe, nor outward garb, mark, or colour shall find place; but you shall wear a token by which all men shall take knowledge of you that you belong to Me, 'By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.'"
(J. Jackson Wray.)
Parallel VersesKJV: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.