July 12 2021
Today, Monday July 12
Our New Example
1 John 2:7-8 “Beloved, I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word that you have heard. At the same time, it is a new commandment that I am writing to you, which is true in him and in you, because the darkness is passing away and the true light is already shining.”
It is an old commandment but, “at the same time, it is a new commandment”, that John is writing to his readers. The “old commandment” was found in the Law of Moses. We are commanded to love God with all our heart, with all soul and with all of our strength. But now, we hear this old commandment in a new and fresh way. We love now, not because we have to, but because we want to. Because Jesus came, the “true light is already shining” and the “darkness is passing away.”
Jesus Himself is the greatest Example of this commandment. When we look at the life of Jesus Christ, we see love embodied and exemplified. In commanding us to love, Jesus does not ask us to do something that He has not already done Himself. The four Gospel records are the account of a life lived in the spirit of love—and that life was lived under conditions far from ideal. Jesus says to us, in effect, "I lived by this great commandment, and I can enable you to follow My example."
Jesus illustrated love by the very life that He lived. He never showed hatred or malice. His righteous soul hated all sin and disobedience, but He never hated the people who committed such sins. Even in His righteous announcements of judgment, there was always an undercurrent of love.
It is encouraging to think of Jesus' love for the twelve disciples. How they must have broken His heart again and again as they argued over who was the greatest, or tried to keep people from seeing their Master. Each of them was different from the others, and Christ's love was broad enough to include each one in a personal, understanding way. He was patient with Peter's impulsiveness, Thomas' unbelief, and even Judas' treachery. When Jesus commanded His disciples to love one another, He was only telling them to do as He had done.
Consider too our Lord's love for all kinds of people. The publicans and sinners were attracted (Luke 15:1) by His love, and even the lowest of the low could weep at His feet (Luke 7:36-39). He held babies in His arms. He spoke about children at play. He even comforted the women who wept as the soldiers led Him out to Calvary. He loved His enemies and even ask His Father to forgive them as they were crucifying Him.
In His life, in His teachings, and in His death, Jesus is the perfect Example of this new commandment, "Love one another." And this is what helps to make the commandment "new." In Christ we have a new illustration of the old truth that God is love and that the life of love is the life of joy and victory.
May the grace of God help us today to “walk in the Light” and follow the example of Jesus in loving all those we encounter in our lives today!