May 24: “Jesus’ Greatest Command”

6 Minute Read

Today’s Bible Reading:

2 Samuel 4:1–6:23
John 13:31–14:14
Psalm 119:17-32
Proverbs 15:31-32 

Today’s Bible Verse(s):

John 13:34-35 (NLT): “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Reflections on Today’s Bible Verse(s):

Following Jesus will be difficult but easy.

It’s difficult because of our propensity toward sin. Our disobedience will keep us on our knees each day, asking for forgiveness over and over.

It’s simple because there are really only two commands that we must remember. All of the other commands are just subsets of these two: 1) Love God with everything you’ve got and 2) love each other just as you love and care about yourself (see Matthew 22:35-40).

In my Bible reading this morning, I was reminded that there are causes and effects to obeying these two most important commands, particularly loving our brothers and sisters in Christ. When an unbelieving world sees the compassionate community that Jesus’ followers create by their love for each other, many will come to believe that Jesus does exist, that we are His followers, and He is what their heart craves.

John 13:34-35 (NLT): “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

Fellow believers, we’ve got to love each other. That means we will honor each other and not gossip about one another. That means we will sacrifice to meet each other’s needs if necessary. That means we will extend grace and biblical assistance when one of us stumbles into sin, and we will quit shooting our wounded. That means we genuinely like being around those in our own church as well as those who attend elsewhere.

All too often, when unbelievers look at the Christian community, they see people who can’t get along. They hear gossip, ridicule, and condemnation. They listen to the unforgiveness. The lost world has its own relationship troubles, so why would they be attracted to a community where they would simply add to that burden?

Let’s focus on the two most important commands: Love God will all of our hearts and love each other as we love ourselves.

If you are a part of a church that genuinely loves each other and welcomes newcomers with open arms and a ready smile, you are blessed. Thank the Lord for placing you there, and always strive to make that love go deeper.

If, however, this is not your experience, work to create a community where broken people are accepted and helped along on their journey to Christlikeness. In doing so, you will give a compelling argument that Jesus really does exist, that we are His followers, and He really is all they need.


Matt Ellis is the pastor of First Baptist Church in Polk City, Florida (fbcpolkcity.com). His latest book is God’s Grace in the Real World. Connect with him on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Photo by Cristina Cerda on Unsplash

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I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

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