We all know this one, right? Check…
But wait a minute….This was the only Commandment Jesus gave us, and it encompasses all of Moses’ Commandments….if we do it right. It really leaves no room for the bad behaviors listed in the 10 Commandments and covers the good ones. We need to remember that at the time Jesus stated this to his Disciples, there was unrest going on among them. The Disciples had dynamics that you would see in many “groups”. Internal questioning of each other, themselves, and Jesus. Some jockeying for position, concerns of who was the “best” disciple. And, to make matters worse, Mary Magdalene was in their midst, and she definitely needed to go. She was not one of “them”.
Jesus kept dropping hints that he was “leaving”, meaning he was going to die soon, but they didn’t fully understand what he was saying. So he said these words because they needed saying. And when he said these words, Peter, the most outspoken Disciple, quickly said to him “Why cannot I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus lets him know that “before a rooster crows, you will deny Me three times”… Of course, Peter doesn’t believe him then, and later breaks down and cries when he finds himself doing exactly that after Jesus is taken away.
Jesus understood human nature. He knew when he gave us his new Commandment, that it was not an easy one. Jesus still loved Peter even though he already knew he was going to deny him in his time of great need. How many times have we closed off friendships or family members when we felt they denied us in our great need?
I share this so we can also appreciate the flaws of our human nature. We are all being tested now, in this time of chaos and uncertainty. We talk of “coming together” and then sometimes behave quite differently. This is also human nature – our fears get the best of us.
Today if we could just love one another a little more, we will have done something Good. It’s not always easy or obvious, so watch for it. Fight against your human-ness to downplay something you feel in your heart. Maybe it’s as simple as helping the person in crutches who could use a cut in the line waiting to get into Market Basket.
I am sending you love and strength today! I need it too as I’ll be challenged on this very idea, guaranteed.
Blessings to you and your loved ones.
Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another.” John 13:34