Most Important Command of Jesus in the Bible

The greatest command of Jesus in the book of Saint John the Apostle

Jesus’ greatest command wasn’t “convert your neighbor.” After all, it is God who chooses who to save. Our role is to share the Gospel with and be excellent examples of what a Christ follower should be. Rather, Jesus commands us to love God with all we have and “love our neighbor as yourself.”

Critical sections of John’s gospel

Among the synoptic Gospels, the 21 chapters of the book of John have the most schematic account of the ministry of Jesus. It was written in Ephesus around 100 AD and was intended for Christians with Hellenistic backgrounds.

In the book of John, Jesus describes Himself as the vine and how we can bear fruit. As well as signs, His glory, Jesus’ final night, and the passion, and resurrection.

What is the most important commandment?

A teacher of the law asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus said it is to love God with all you’ve got and love others as yourself—no commandment is greater than these.

Mark 29:30-31
Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”


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 (John 4:14 on “Love your Enemy”).

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)


The Book of John also tells 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 “Keep 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)

John 15:12
“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

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 is “… we do not ask God and do not receive because of wrong motives” (James 4:2-3).

John 13:33-35
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.’

I give you a new commandment: that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this, all men will know you are My disciples if you love one another.”


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