John 13 34-35

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Sermon Type: Expository                                                                                        Tad Wychopen II


Text:  John 13:34-35                                                                                         Preaching Practicum

Title: A New Commandment  

Proposition:  You must be known by your Christ-like love for others.



~Puppy love has sent many a young man to the dogs.  

~To marry a woman for her beauty is like buying a house for its paint.

What kind of person are you known as?  Are you known as a person that is filled with pride, arrogance, and selfishness; or are you known as a person that is filled with love.  There is a story of a guy that was full of love, but it had a wrong outcome. 

Rene Jobin was deeply in love but the girl’s parents would not even allow her to see him.  While pacing the front of her house, he noticed a fire alarm strategically located beside the building. He had a flaming idea.  He thought that if he pulled the alarm, the fire engines would come thundering, and in the commotion, the people in the house would all rush out.  He would have a chance to sneak off with her even for a few minutes.

It worked.  While pa and ma joined the firemen frantically looking for the fire, Rene and the girl had a blissful few minutes, vowing eternal devotion.  It worked again the next time.  In fact, it worked eight times.  The Montreal Fire Department was driven crazy.

The ninth time was different!  The officials had set a watch and Rene was caught.  The lovelorn girl is hoping that by the time he got out, he wouldn’t be too old to marry her.

            That is not the kind of love we should be known for.  We should be known for love that influences others for Christ.  Your love must be willing to sacrifice and follow Christ.  Your love for others is the strongest argument for your faith in Christ.  You must be known by your Christ-like love for others.


John 13:34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

I.  A new kind of love. V. 34

Explanation:  There was always a command to love each other, but that commandment was talking about loving your neighbor as yourself.  That is a very difficult task to accomplish considering how much man loves himself.  This command to love your neighbor as yourself was given back in Leviticus. 

Lev 19:18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself: I am the LORD.

This was not a new thing for the disciples to hear.  They had heard this before (Mat. 5:43, 19:19, 23:39; Mark 12:29,31; Luke 10:27) that they were to love each other.  The new precept given was to love others as Christ loved them.  This would be a sacrificial, forgiving, and confronting type of love.  The commandment to love was not new, but there was a new motive to love: to love our neighbor because Christ has loved us.  Jesus had set the example for his disciples.  He was not expecting anyone to do anything that he has not already done himself.  We should examine the different aspects of Christ’s love.

A.  Sacrificial Love.

Eph 5:2  And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor.

Heb 9:26  For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

Explanation:  Christ had just shown the disciples how to have sacrificial love.  The disciples would know why Christ is saying, “to love one another just as I have loved you.”  Christ almost could have said, “Love as I have just shown you.”  In the beginning of this chapter, Christ washed the disciple’s feet.  This was a clear example of Christ’s humble, self-sacrificing love for them. 

Christ gave himself to be a sacrifice for mankind.  He sacrificed his life by dying on the cross for our sins.  He also gave of his whole life here on earth to serve man.  The meaning of the word “love” or “agape” used in verse 34 is a self-sacrificing love and giving of oneself.  Christ gave himself for us.  He sacrificed all glory and honor to die a criminal’s death upon the cross.  He even died for the people that hate his name and despise him. 

Application:  It is so easy to love yourself.  It is even easy to love people that love you.  How do you do when you there is someone that is annoying and pestering?  Is your love constantly sacrificing?  Do you sacrifice your time to Christ?  Teenagers, you can be a great help to your youth leader or your pastor.  You should be willing to sacrifice your time to serve your pastor.  People, are you willing to give up of the things of this world and sacrifice your life to Christ?  Love isn’t giving when others are giving … It’s giving when others are not giving.  You must be known by your Christ-like love for others.

Illustration:  “You love to preach, don’t you?” asked Henry Ward Beecher of a young minister. “I surely do,” was the glowing reply. “But do you love the people to whom you preach?” Beecher then asked.

            B.  Forgiving Love

Eph 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

Col 3:13 Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.


Explanation /Application:  This love is to be forgiving as Christ forgave us of our sins.  Christ gave us unmerited forgiveness.  We did not deserve any forgiveness from our sins.  Christ’s love went so far that it reached down to sinful, undeserving man and gave him the ability to have the forgiveness of sins.  Nothing is too great for us to forgive.  God forgave from our sin and rebellion.  With love like Christ’s, we can forgive others as Christ forgave us.  You must be known by your Christ-like love for others.

Application: In a recent chapel service bulletin from Chaplain Wendell C. Hawley, comes a classic illustration of forgiveness.  When the Moravian missionaries first went to the Eskimos, they could not find a word in their language for forgiveness, so they had to compound one.  This turned out to be: Issumagijoujungnainermik. It is a formidable-looking assembly of letters, but an expression that has a beautiful connotation for those who understand it.  It means: “Not-being-able-to-think-about-it-anymore.”

II.  A Visible Kind of Love.


~Christ like love can never be a hidden or secret thing.  It must be seen by all and felt by all.~

A. Seen By All.  V 35

Explanation:  Genuine, deep-seated, constant, and self-sacrificing love for one another is the distinguishing trait of the Christian.  This love is an overflow of what God has done in our heart.  This is to be the distinguishing mark of Christ’s followers.  All people will know who is a follower of Christ if true love is always displayed by Christians.  You must be known by your Christ-like love for others.

Illustration:  Tertullian writes that the Roman government was disturbed about the early church.  Christians were increasing in number by leaps and bounds.  Because they wouldn’t take even a pinch of incense and put it before the image of the emperor, the Romans thought that they might be disloyal.  Spies went into the Christian meeting and came back with this report: “There Christians are very strange.  They meet together in an empty room to worship.  They do not have an image.  They speak of One by they name of Jesus, who is absent, but whom they seem to be expecting at any time.  And my, how they love Him and how they love one another.”  Now if spies came to our church from an atheistic government to see what we were about, what would be the verdict?  Would they comment on our love for each other. 

Application:  If someone followed you around all the time, would they see that your life is consumed by love?  That someone is the Holy Spirit.  The love that you show or don’t show is the evidence of you being a Christian.  Some of you would never be able to prove you are guilty of loving others.


            B.  Felt by All. 



Explanation/Application:  13 times the Gospels record that Christ had compassion on the people around him.  Christ was constantly showing compassion to sinners.  He knew that people needed a Savior.  There is no possible way to show compassion as Christ did, but we must strive to do as best as we can.  Compassion is love that touches people.  We must be filled with compassion.  True Christ like love touches others lives.  Does your life impact others?  Can you honestly say that since you have love others know you are a Christian?  Does your family know that you love them as Christ did?  Teachers, Pastors, do your student’s and people in the church know that you love them?  Or maybe you don’t love them.  Something must change.  You must be known by your Christ-like love for others.


Illustration:  While practicing law, George G. Vest, a former U. S. Senator from Missouri, defended a farmer whose dog was involved in a minor damage suit. Here is part of his speech:

“The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog. … When all other friends desert, he remains.  When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

“If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies.

“And, when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in his embrace, and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will be found the noble dog, his head between his paws, his sad eyes alert and watchful, still faithful and true even in death.”

With this impassioned plea, Vest won a favorable verdict from the jury.

            Your love for others must be Christ-like!  To be known as Christ’s disciple, you must have Christ-like love.  Love, not just as you love yourself, but as Christ loved you.  Your love for others is the strongest argument for your faith in Christ.  You must be known by your Christ-like love for others.


Gill, John.  Gill’s Exposition on the Bible.  Leigh and Straud.  1810.

Hendriksen, William.  New Testament Commentarty:.  Baker Books.  Grand Rapids, MI. 1962.

Henry, Matthew.  Matthew Henry’s Commentary On the Whole Bible.  Ages Software: Albany, OR.  1999

Morris, Leon.  The Gospel according to JOHN  NICNT.  William B. Eerdmans Publishing     Company:  Grand Rapids, MI.  1995.

Gaebelein, Dr. Frank E.  The Expositors Bible Commentary: John.  Zondervan. Grand Rapids, MI.  Pradis 2002.

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