14.02.12 Jn. 13:31-35
JESUS COMMANDS LOVE FOR THE BROTHERHOOD
31 When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself and will glorify Him at once.
33 “Children, I am with you a little while longer. You will look for Me, and just as I told the Jews, ‘Where I am going you cannot come,’ so now I tell you.
34 “I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
“Now the Son of Man is glorified.” The glorification of Jesus was His death on the cross and resurrection. The reason Jesus said “Now the Son of Man is glorified,” is that everything was now a “done deal,” meaning, that everything was set in motion and there was no turning back. The last requirement was fulfilled.
14.02.12.Q1 Was the new commandment of John 13:34 really new if it was written in Leviticus 19:18?
At issue is the statement by Jesus, who said, “I give you a new command.” There are two words in the Greek language that mean new, and they have slightly different meanings. The Greek word kainos (2537) means new in terms of a revival of something that is already in existence. Something which is new in its own way. The other Greek word is neos (3501) and it means new in terms of it having never existed previously; brand new.
In this case, Jesus used the word kainos, meaning that He placed a new awareness on Leviticus 19:18. It reads, “Do not take revenge or bear a grudge against members of your community, but love your neighbor as yourself, I am Yahweh (God).” In essence, people should be able to identify Christians by the love they have for others. This type of “God-love” is not necessarily emotional, but seeks the highest and best good for others. It is encouragement. It will give a caring rebuke when needed. It is an honest concern for the welfare of a brother or sister, while it maintains discernment. This concept was not a “new” idea, but was a common teaching in Jewish history and appeared in some pre-Christian writings.
Throughout the Second Temple Period, Jewish men wore “signs” that identified them – not for identity reasons, but as reminders of God. The phylactery worn on the forehead and left arm were two of those signs. Observance of the Sabbath and kosher foods also identified any person as being an observant Jew. Jesus now said there was to be a sign of love in the fellowship and the love of God flowing in and through His faithful followers that would identify them as Christians.
The eleven disciples now confronted Him with several questions. They wanted to know where He was going and why they couldn’t go with Him. These questions would have been quite normal, if the future would have been totally within the physical realm. However, Jesus was about to transcend into the spiritual world; He would conquer death and return for a brief time. No matter how well this would have been explained, such a discussion would lead only to more questions and possibly, confusion. Nevertheless, Jesus answered them, knowing that understanding would elude them. But after the resurrection they would fully comprehend His dynamic work.
. Haarbeck, Link, and Brown, “New.” 2:670; Lang, Know the Words of Jesus. 52.
. Haarbeck, Link, and Brown, “New.” 2:674.
. See also Galatians 5:14.
. Two examples are found within three books of The Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs. They are The Testament of Dan 5:3; The Testament of Zebulon 5:1; and The Testament of Issachar 7:6.
. Thompson, “Phylactery.” 4:586-87.
. Hellenized Jews did not always observe kosher dietary laws.