John 13:34 – A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
God’s love is supernatural. Of course it is, everything about Him is supernatural. This new commandment of love given to us by the Lord is more than difficult, the agape love that Jesus speaks of is impossible for a human to accomplish. Then why does He require it of us? Like Augustine famously said, “Lord, command what you will but give what you command”. That’s what makes this new law of love possible for us to live in. Christ has made His home in our hearts since we have been born again. As we yield to Him and walk in the Spirit, He begins to love through us. This is the sure sign of conversion, the love of God shed abroad in our hearts loving this unloveable world. So the new commandment is something only He can fulfill. Then what is the good news? He has chosen to love the world through us. Here is a quote from Johnson’s Commentary on John.
“A new commandment I give unto you. The commandment to love was not new, but such love as the Savior commanded was new. It was such love for each other as he had shown for them that he commanded. That love was one so intense as to give up all things. His love led him to leave heaven, to take our infirmities upon him, to endure a weary and painful ministry, to become a servant, even to wash the feet of his disciples, and it was about to show itself forth in the outpouring of his blood for the sake of his people. It was such love as he would inspire in the hearts of his disciples for each other; a self-denying, self-sacrificing love which is not of the earth, but carries its own demonstration that it is of heavenly origin. The “new life” is love.”
To me, this love is seen most clearly with Christ’s prayer for His executioners as He hung dying on the cross. He prayed the unthinkable, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do”. That is the display of God loving the world through His Son Jesus. Now He has chosen to love the world through us. We can now do the impossible, loving the unlovely with the love of God.