I. "LITTLE CHILDREN."
A. Teknia is a word that always indicates loving care and concern. A word of tender intimacy.
1. Jesus is concerned for His disciples.
2. He has been talking to them about His being glorified but they do not yet have the full comprehension of the fact that He is referring to the cross. They are still hoping for the crowning.
B. He is now making His meaning a little clearer to them as He says "I will only be with you a little while."
1. Within hours, He will be arrested and the trial and crucifixion will be underway.
2. He knows how they had come to rely on Him.
3. He knows how their hopes for the immediate setting up of the Kingdom is going to be dashed.
4. In the tenderest of terms He is going to seek to prepare them for the calamity that they will soon be facing.
C. "You are going to seek Me, but as I said to the Jews, where I am going you cannot come. Now I am saying that to you."
1. To the Jews He added the words, "and you will die in your sins."
2. Somehow in their colloquialism the phrase, "where I am going you cannot come," signified death, for in chapter 8 when He said that to the Jews, they said among themselves, "Is He going to kill himself?"
3. In verse 36 when Peter asks Him why he cannot go with Him now he said to Jesus, "I will lay down my life for Your sake."
II. "A NEW COMMANDMENT I GIVE TO YOU."
A. In the book of Exodus God gave the ten commandments. For the most part, they are in the negative.
1. This is often called the eleventh commandment.
2. "Love one another." It is very positive.
B. This is really not new in the sense that it has never been given before.
1. When the lawyer asked Jesus what the greatest commandment was, Jesus responded, "Thou shalt love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul and mind, and love your neighbor as yourself."
2. Jesus declared to him that this was a summation of all of the law and prophets.
3. In all of the selfishness and self-centeredness of life, it is something that they had sort of forgotten and cast aside.
C. Notice how much they were to love each other, "As I have loved you."
1. His love for them was a selfless love. In love He was willing to serve them.
2. His love for them was a sacrificial love, He was going to lay down His life for them. Before this conversation is over, He will be saying to them, "Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down His life for His friends."
3. His love for them was an unconditional love. They will all soon be forsaking Him. The one that He has chosen will soon be denying Him with cursing. Yet He loved them.
4. We so often love because of what we are getting out of the relationship.
5. We rarely are willing to truly sacrifice our own desires.
6. We so often put conditions upon our love.
7. How convicting these words of Jesus become.
D. The Greek word for love in the text is the agape which is almost unknown in classical Greek, but is used often in the New Testament.
1. The word has been defined for us by Paul in I Cor. 13
2. It suffers long and is kind, it does not envy or vaunt itself, nor is it puffed up. It does not behave itself in an unseemly way, nor does it seek its own way. It is not provoked, and thinks no evil. It rejoices not in iniquity but rejoices in the truth, it bears all things, believes all things, and hopes all things. It never fails.
3. Take an honest look at yourself and see how far you come from loving like this.
4. Being brutally honest, you will probably confess that you cannot love like that. You are perfectly correct. It is beyond our capacity.
5. To recognize this is the first step in loving like this.
6. To know you can't do it in yourself, if it is to be done, it will have to be by the power of an outside force. You are now on the path to discovery of true love.
7. This is not a love I can generate, emulate, or imitate. It is not in me to love like this.
8. Why would Jesus command me to do something that is impossible for me to do?
9. Jesus has given many impossible commands to us, but if I will but will to obey the command, though it is impossible for me, He will give me the capacity to obey.
10. Jesus said to His disciples, "You will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you will be a witness of Me both in Jerusalem, and in Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth."
a. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that this kind of love can become a reality in my life.
b. In fact when the Holy Spirit is in control of my life, the fruit of the Spirit is agape.
c. This is the true scriptural proof and evidence that I am filled with the Holy Spirit. Tongues without love are meaningless sounds.
III. "BY THIS SHALL ALL MEN KNOW THAT YOU ARE MY DISCIPLES. THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER."
A. The greatest sign that we can offer to the world that we are the disciples of Jesus Christ is our love for one another.
B. In the first epistle of John he declared that we know that we have passed from death unto life because we love the brethern.
C. He also said that if a man says that He loves God and hates his brother he is a liar.
D. Again he said, "In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil. Whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother."
E. Love for my brothers in Christ is the proof whereby I know that I am a child of God, and proof to the world that I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. Any other proof that I might seek to offer is invalidated if I have not this love.