The most important command of Jesus in the book of Saint John the apostle is to “love thy neighbor”
Among the synoptic Gospels, the 21 chapters of the book of John have the most schematic account of the ministry of Jesus. It may have been written at Ephesus around 100 AD, intended for Christians with Hellenistic backgrounds.
Critical sections of John’s gospel
John gives a broad account of Jesus’ ministry from chapters 1 to 21. Critical sections would be Jesus describing Himself as the vine and how we can bear fruit. As well as signs, His glory, Jesus’ final night, the passion and resurrection.
The Book of John tell us how to “bear fruit”
In John chapter 15, Jesus said that if we remain in Him, the “true vine,” we will bear fruit. These fruits are Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self-control.
- John 15:5 “Remain in me and you will bear much fruit”
- John 15:10 “Keepy my commands to remain in my love”
- John 15:12 “My command: Love each other as I loved you.”
How do we bear fruit?
We bear fruits when we remain in Jesus. To remain in Christ means we have to keep His command (v10). Hence, He gave a NEW command: “Love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you” (John 15:12; Matthew 5:54)
A Christian bears the fruit of love
It is impossible to love the unlovable. We can’t do it on our own. The reason we must ask God is for the heart to love others. The problem, “… we do not ask God and do not receive because of wrong motives” (James 4:2-3).
Little children, I am with you a little while longer. You will seek Me, and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all men will know that you are My disciples if you have a love for one another.”
Love your enemies, do good to those who persecute you
The greatest commandment
A teacher of the law asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus said it is to love God and love others as yourself—there is no commandment greater than these. (Mark 29:31)
The Jews and their fellow Samaritans
Jesus demonstrated what He meant by “love thy neighbor” when He met the Samaritan woman. The Samaritans were “neighbors” of Israel, bordered by Galilee to the north and Judaea to the south.
As “purebred” chosen people, no Jew will associate with the Samaritan people. They referred to them as “mongrels,” like half-breed dogs. It’s not only racist but unloving.
Jesus’ message centers on faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13)