Jesus inaugurates the New Covenant foretold by the prophets (Deut 30:6, Jer31:31-34). He begins with the New Commandment (v34), however Peter interrupts with his usual bravado. Here is a picture of how the Christian life is often misunderstood and diminished.
- We tend to lower the standard of the New Commandment, domesticating it to suit our own tastes.
- Like Peter we tend to overestimate ourselves. We cannot live up to our own standards, let alone the Lords’, we are too weak and sinful.
To both of these things Jesus says in v33, “Where I am going you cannot come.”
- However, v.36 says, “Where I am going…you will follow later.” The New Covenant promise is the Holy Spirit living in us and changing us so that we can obey the New Commandment. Ultimately, we will love like Christ! (1 Jn 3:2)
- Faith in Christ means acknowledging God’s standard, our own inability and God’s power to change us. Hence, when we become Christians we must repent and believe.
- We should not underestimate God’s power to change us, even though we are still sinful.
- God’s purpose in discipline is always to lift up his law and rid us of self-righteousness in order to give us righteousness from the Spirit.
- Joy in the Christian life comes from deeper understanding of: a) our sin, b)the beauty of God’s law, c) the reality of the Spirit in us.
- The evidence of discipleship is when we love one another (v34), not just love. Therefore, the church is the place where we encounter and display most clearly the power of God.