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On the T-shirt (see photo) is written: “I may not be perfect but Jesus thinks I’m to die for”. Everyone may wear such a T-shirt. Jesus died for everyone:   For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.  (John 3:16).

We have the Ten Commandments (Exod. 20). But everything changed with Jesus’ arrival on earth. He issued a new commandment, just one command: ”And now I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34). (Also John 15:9 – 12, and 17). Jesus said that even should we forget all that He had said, we must remember one thing: “You must love one another.”

            Paul wrote about a quarter of the New Testament. He says: Above all, clothe yourselves with love (Col. 3:14). As people see our clothes, so they should every day see the love of the Lord for them in us. Peter writes: Above all, continue to love each other deeply (1Pet. 4:8). See also Hebr. 13:1, 1Pet. 1;22, 1 John 3:11, 2 John 1:5.  When love for our neighbour is thus emphasised (above all) it doesn’t mean that the other commands are unimportant – they are all included. This command of Jesus may sound simple, but it is challenging: As I have loved you, so you must love one another. And how did Jesus love us?  This is how we know what love is: Christ gave his life for us (1 John 3:16). He gave himself for us, to rescue us from all wickedness and to make us a pure people (Tit. 2:14). Jesus gave his life so that we may be reconciled with God.

            If in every situation we ask what love demands of me, then this command covers all other commands. I need not consult Bible texts to know whether something is sinful.

            Jaco Strydom of ECHO Youth Development writes: Mother Teresa said that she often saw Jesus in the eyes of the most vulnerable people in Kolkata. We saw Him too. We realized that there is something of God’s heart that you don’t find in beautiful cathedrals, the most touching spiritual music, the best of Christian books, not even in Bible study groups or at prayer meetings. It seems that He chooses to reveal something of His heart through the poorest of the poor. It was Jesus who said: “‘I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in … inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brothers, you did it to Me’ ” (Matt. 25:35 – 40).

If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar (1 John 4:20). Andy Stanley says: “If you mistreat one of my kids, no singing, or giving will make up for it. The best way to honour me is to do something for my children. Whatever you do for them you are doing it for me”. Isn’t that also what Jesus wants to tell us with his new command? His command is: “You must love one another.”


Thank you, God, that You love us all. You taught all believers to say together: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name …” Amen.

 Gert Berning