Text: John 13:31-35
The writer of Ecclesiastes famously said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” And he should know. He’s been around the sun a time or two. He’s an old man. He’s seen a lot of living and a lot of dying. And, let me tell you youngsters, there’s nothing new under the sun.
Of course, one wonders what his reaction would have been had someone slipped him an i-phone which enabled him to Facetime with his cousin way out in the Judean hill country. Does the relentless march of technological innovation qualify as something new? Or, to stick with the perspective of Ecclesiastes, is it ultimately just more mist in the breeze of time?
What is new, at least according to Jesus in John’s gospel, is a commandment he gives his closest companions. “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.”
To claim love as a new commandment is borderline comical, to the point that one wonders if Jesus is speaking a bit tongue in cheek. These words are a part of the lengthy farewell discourse, covering John chapter 13...