Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Jesus has Brought a "New", Richer and Deeper Meaning of An "Old" Commandment (1 John 2:7-8)

Jesus is the Good Samaritan in His own story
Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment – to love one another – is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining” (1 John 2:7-8, NLT).

In the previous verses, old Apostle John writes to us as “children,” now as “friends.” He reminds us that he is not writing about something new, but about a commandment that has been around practically since the beginning of time. That commandment is to love God with everything we have – with every energy and strength we have – and to love our neighbours as we love ourselves (see Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 6:5). So, the idea of love is not new, is it? But why John said “yet it is also new”?

What John – I’m convince – trying to say is that his Master, Lord Jesus Christ has bought a richer and deeper meaning to the idea of loving God and others. The New Testament tells us that we are to love everyone, including those who may be different from ourselves because of their popularity level or race or economic level or style of clothing or whatever (But it doesn’t mean you have to like everyone). Jesus told a story to illustrate what he means by loving our neighbours. A story of a Good Samaritan (read Luke 10:29-37). Jesus told about a man who had been brutally beaten and left for dead all alone. It was not the priest or the religious leader who stopped to give help, but it was a Samaritan, a hybrid-race who had been hated by the Jews for centuries, who showed love in actions. He not only bound the man’s wounds but he also took him to a hotel and even paid the bill!

This is the kind of quality that the “new” commandment is bringing – to love not only those with whom we are comfortable but to also reach out to those who are unpopular or unloved. Truth is not only something to be understood but that which results in action. John here tells us that this great truth is seen not only in Jesus but also in us! As Jesus was, so we are supposed to be. As people watch the way we live, they see how practical and helpful our faith can be.

The Apostle also talks about the fact that “the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining.” This might sound confusing but it’s really not when we remember that the “age to come” (Hebrews 6:5) – the future – are actually began when Jesus Christ came to earth; He is the true light. The present age is called “evil” (see Galatians 1:4). These two ages – the “present evil age” and the “age to come” – actually overlap. We, today, are in both ages. It is true that the devil continues to have much power in this world but it will over soon. Even today we have already begun to taste the wonders of our life in Christ, the wonders which will continue forever! This present age which began when Jesus came to earth the first time will end when He returns to earth someday. “Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! (Revelations 22:20).


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