Personal testimonies and life experiences that illuminate the undeniable presence of God.
The 10 Original Commandments
The ten commandments are a set of Biblical principles given to Moses on Mount Sinai in the old Testament.
Shortly after God had delivered the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt, they became sinful and ungrateful to God and forgot the majestic miracles He had performed for them (such as parting the Red Sea). They wandered so long in the dessert that they began cussing and saying God was no longer there, so they made false idols for themselves to worship in the form of a golden calf.
God was very displeased with their behavior so He appeared to Moses in the form of a burning bush and gave Moses Ten Commandments as laws for his people to abide by in order to live ethical, pleasing ways to God.
The Ten Commandments Explained
The Eleven Commandments
Now all these commandments have been explained in many texts, and they are also pretty straightforward. In this article we will discuss the eleventh commandment given to us by Jesus in John 15:12 where he says:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
This is actually the second time that I have been gently reminded by the Holy Spirit to write this article, I’ve procrastinated on it for over three weeks now, and again I was reminded, so it must be important – and I believe it might just be the most important tenet of Christianity, of humanity and of life in general.
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
So Whats 'New' About This Commandment?
First we have to look at this new commandment within the context that Jesus said it. He was sitting down with his friends (the disciples) about to have supper - the Feast of Passover, also known as 'The Last Supper'.
Jesus Washes the Disciples' Feet
When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him." - John 13:12-16
Now this is key because what master washes the feet of their servant? This principle has never been the norm, not 2000 years ago and certainly not now. Jesus makes it clear that we are to be servants of each other, and that we need to forsake every sense of entitlement in order to serve others. We should not be prideful, arrogant or value status. We are to be servants.
Paul teaches this principle of Jesus' by saying:
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh ; rather, serve one another humbly in love. - Galatians 15:13
Living Connected to Jesus Through This Commandment
The key to obeying Jesus commandment is to abide in His love.
John 15:12: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.”
Jesus describes a connection with himself that gives the power to love.
So the newness of the command to love like Jesus is not only the pattern of His behavior but His connection to vital power—our connection to that power by being connected to Him.
John 15:9–10: “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His (my Father's) love.”
What Does it Mean to Abide in Jesus?
The definition of the word 'abide' is to: “accept or act in accordance with (a rule, decision, or recommendation)”.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” - John 15:5
“Apart from me,” Jesus says, “you have no power to do anything. You cannot love each other as I command you to love, if you do not abide in me as I abide in my Father.”
Vines gives life to branches; while light, love and power to bear fruit comes from Jesus.
This is what He means by 'abiding' in Him, our source of Power and Love.
We Are Sanctified by Jesus Himself
We have already been forgiven of every past, present and future sin through Jesus' death on the Cross.
John 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
This means that we are sanctified, by the blood of Jesus, who laid down His life for his friends (John 15:13).
Jesus died in our place. Jesus endured the wrath of God that we deserved so that God’s justice would be satisfied and his love could flow unhindered through Christ to us and through us to each other.
We are FORGIVEN. All we have to do is trust in Him, abide in Him, His love, for He taught us to serve one another, love one another as He loved us.
We need to forsake everything else (entitlement, status, riches), and follow Him, and Him only (not any other new-age ideas where we worship the sun and other demi-gods, or consult psychics and astrologers to tell our fortunes) we need to follow Jesus, for He is the way, the truth and the LIFE.
We (all of humanity,not just Jews) were bought at a price, we were set free, we were given eternal happiness. All it takes it the belief in the Son of God – Jesus Christ, who taught us to LOVE one another (not to judge or condemn, but love) as He loved us. It takes faith in Jesus Christ, and to obey His commands because He was not just some prophet, but the Son of the Living God, sent by God himself, to redeem humanity from the graveness of their sins, so that we may have eternal life.
I would rather spend my whole life following a God whom I have not seen, than wasting it not following His specific commands, and meeting an eternal hell when I die. I hope this helps clarify what Jesus came in the flesh and humbled Himself, to be as you and I, for.
God bless you.
© 2018 Christian Writings
Christian Writings (author) on February 24, 2019:
Thank you so much James :) You're absolutely right! I would very much like to read your book!
James A Watkins from Chicago on February 21, 2019:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your fine article. Your last paragraph brought to mind a sentence from my first book: "Paul was just as happy to be taken to Rome in chains for Christ, as he would have been if he were being taken to be crowned emperor."
Christian Writings (author) on December 18, 2018:
Thank you Tamarajo for your feedback, I learned a great deal from a teaching by Pastor John Piper on the subject (although he explains it a lot better than I can in his sermon), this my (concise) take on Jesus' commandment to love one another as He loved us. Glad you enjoyed the article :)
Tamarajo on December 18, 2018:
I sincerely enjoyed this study and the connection that you made with the ability to love and abiding in Him. My favorite quote is
"So the newness of the command to love like Jesus is not only the pattern of His behavior but His connection to vital power—our connection to that power by being connected to Him"
I'm going to keep pondering that one
Christian Writings (author) on December 16, 2018:
Thank you for your insightful and very valuable comment Manatita, I do agree that Love is the greatest law, for humanity would fail without it:
"Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends."
May the Love of the Lord be with you my brother,
manatita44 from london on December 15, 2018:
Inspirationally written article. You spoke of the commandment of Love. Love is rather like a huge umbrella which covers everything else and so in that sense, it is perhaps the greatest law. He who loves, does not grow old for God is the greatest example. Paul also tells us that God is Love.
Nothing is negated in creation and all have their value, so did the ten commandments and to a degree still does. I'm saying that the devotional way is to trust in Love and the Heart … to move forward according to His message … the message of scripture.
Nothing wrong with your article. It's beautiful! perhaps I'm saying that we can look at Love as perhaps the most essential law. Just another approach to the same scripture.
Christian Writings (author) on December 15, 2018:
Amen! I couldn't agree more, my dear Brother!
Blessings and Always Love,
Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on December 15, 2018:
Jesus gave us all that we need to live a happy life here and beyond! And all is Love! If we love each other as He did, then we all will live on a Paradise on Earth! There is no other way. All other ways have fallen apart.
Thank you for this fundamental principle you remind us here. It is crucial to remind each other the Truth. We need each other. WE ARE each other, and we are One, only in Love, we are One!
My Love embrace you and your beloved ones!
Christian Writings (author) on December 15, 2018:
Yes Jason, it can be said that the 11th commandment encapsulates the other commandments, however since Jesus said it was a ''new'' commandment (and He knew what the original 10 were since he was a Jew), He was indeed making a new commandment rather than building on the already established ones in the Old Testament. The newness being that we are to 'abide' in Him as He abides in His Father, and to serve one another; nowhere in the original commandments does it talk about service, they were basic moral rules for living, this goes a lot deeper than that.
Thank you for your input! Much appreciated,
Jason Behm from Cebu, Philippines on December 14, 2018:
It has shed a new light on God's commandment. I respect your view about it. But in my opinion, the eleventh commandment you are referring to is the generalization of the 5th to 10th commandments. It is also the positive way of saying those commandments. But thanks to this enlightenment. God bless us all.