“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
The concept is an easy one to know and understand. Christians, those who are disciples of Jesus Christ, are to love each other. It isn't news to you that this easy concept to understand, isn't always that easy to put into practice. It must have been important to Jesus that we do everything possible to practice our love for each other and develop it into a lifestyle common to Christians. He repeated the commandment in John 15:12, and reflects on it again in John 14:21 when he says, "He that has My commandments, and keeps them, he it is that loves Me. "
Some scholars go as far to say that Jesus' command of love is the only law of their conduct and interaction with each other. I find it strange that even his closest followers had a difficult time practicing this commandment of Jesus. Squabbling and bickering could be heard in their ranks concerning which of them would have the seat closest to Jesus in the kingdom. While we might consider the subject matter of their arguments as petty, look at some of the things that divide us, even to the point of treating each other as enemies.
I confess I have a ways to go in practicing the kind of love Jesus expects, but there is something I have learned from the scripture. Of all the things that are associated with following him and calling myself a disciple of the Risen Lord, the only thing he called an identifying mark of discipleship is our love for each other. It's time we all read again 1 Corinthians 13.