Memory Text: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another (John 13:34, NKJV).
Contrary to what many think, the command to love our neighbor is not something newly taught by the New Testament. In the Old Testament, God already had commanded His people to love your neighbor as yourself (Lev. 19:18, NKJV) and to love [the stranger] as yourself (Lev. 19:34, NKJV).
Why, then, did Jesus say, “A new commandment I give to you” (NKJV)? The newness of Jesus’ instruction was in that it had a new measure: “as I have loved you” (NKJV). Before the incarnation of Christ, men did not have a full manifestation of God’s love. Now, through His selfless life and death, Jesus demonstrated the real and deepest meaning of love.
“Love was the element in which Christ moved and walked and worked. He came to embrace the world in the arms of His love. . . . We are to follow the example set by Christ, and make Him our pattern, until we shall have the same love for others as He has manifested for us.” — Ellen G. White, Our Father Cares, p. 27.
This week, as we consider Jesus’ tender, sympathetic, considerate, and compassionate life, let our hearts be touched and molded by His divine active principle of love, which is the watermark of true Christianity.
*Study this week’s lesson to prepare for Sabbath, August 16.