When Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you,” it is in the context of the Father’s commandment to love. It is called the “new commandment” and is how we will be known as disciples. The term ‘commandment’ tends to throw us back to the Ten Commandment Law. The word used by Jesus as commandment is “an injunction, charge, precept; and is used of moral and religious precepts or a commission.” It also stresses the authoritativeness of the one giving the command. (Strong’s)
Another thought I had concerning Jesus’ statement; ‘This is my commandment that you love one another,’ carries with it a problem. The misconception lies in the fact of making our ‘love’ a command—an order, a duty, something that ‘must be done.’ If love (agape) could be seen as an existence, an atmosphere, energy, and not a ‘command,’ it could be understood more readily.
Love is by demonstration without ‘doing’ anything or expecting anything. It just is. No command, no order and no expectation. It is who we become.
When love is a command to us there will be legalism and a religious heart appear to make sure we are ‘loving correctly’ and ‘loving the way we should,’ and that others are ‘loving the way they should.’ Grace would never demand or command such a love; it would simply demonstrate and present such a love.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” Jesus