“A new command I give you: Love one another.” Jn 13:34 NIV
A newspaper told the story of a boy with cancer who was going through chemotherapy and losing his hair. To show their love and support, his classmates all shaved their heads so he wouldn’t be embarrassed about returning to school. The newspaper carried a picture of them all with their bald heads, accompanied by the caption, “Everything we do, we do together.” That’s the “law of love” Jesus was talking about when He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another.” This must have sounded radical to the people Jesus was addressing, for they lived by two Old Testament laws: (1) The law of revenge. Before Moses came along, the law of the land was the law of the jungle. It said in essence, “If you hurt me I’ll hurt you, and then some!” Enemies actively sought ways to settle old scores because revenge wasn’t just acceptable, it was encouraged. (2) The law of retribution. In Moses’ time revenge was replaced with retribution which allowed “an eye for an eye,” but no more (See Lev 24:20). You could do to your enemies only what they had done to you. To us this sounds harsh, but back then it was major progress. Then Jesus came along and introduced a third law: The law of love. It meant you didn’t have to get even, you could choose to forgive. Indeed, if you didn’t your prayers wouldn’t be answered. This new commandment demonstrates the unconditional love God shows to us—then calls us to live the same way. So the law of love should govern your life every day.