We are to love the Family of God as Jesus loved us. At the Last Supper, the Lord commands His disciples to love each other in the way that He has shown His Love to them. At this point in Jesus’ Ministry, the disciples have known Jesus’ Love through His teaching and humble serving, by His compassion and care, and by His obedience to God the Father. But the full extent of Jesus’ Love for His people will be shown after He has given this new command. The disciples will witness the extent of Jesus’ faithful Love amidst Peter’s betrayal and the disciples’ abandonment of their Lord. They will see His steadfast Love against torture, ridicule and scorn. They will observe His selfless love which ensures the care of His mother as He hangs upon the Cross. The Disciples will know Jesus’ merciful love as He dies for sinners at Calvary.
We show others love like Jesus when we first lay our life down for Him. Against the failure of humanity to be faithful, to be selfless, to be compassionate and merciful, the great Love of Jesus encompassed all of these things in absolute perfection on the road to the Crucifixion and now serves as a model for us to follow. As we follow Him, we are transformed by His Love to love others fully as He did. “Will you lay down Your life for me?” asks Jesus. Following Jesus’ commandment requires us to first lay our own lives down, in order that He teaches us and moves us to love in the way He first loved us.