April 29, 2010 | 10:23 am

Thursday – Thanks for the Obvious

It is easy to question the profundity of Jesus’ words in John 13:34. He says, “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another.” There does not seem to be much new about the need to love. It easily ranks with other obvious advice, such as “eat your vegetables,” “drive carefully,” and “study hard.” We say these things all the time knowing that it makes us feel better saying them than it does informing anyone of something they didn’t know. Though this may sound like sacrilege, to tell someone to love one another is no great revelation.  
But what if these words contain something new? What if these words contain the counsel we need to radically reorient the way we live and love? If we continuing reading verse 34, it says, “Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” The point is not to remind us of what we already know. It is to prompt us to examine what our idea of love is. When we ask ourselves, what does love look like? The breakthrough idea is to love as Jesus loved. We know that a life without love is an unfilled one. It is equally true that a life that misunderstands love is also unfulfilled. The hope offered in this new command is that Jesus’ example guides us towards a fulfilling, life’s worth living, kind of love.