Making the Old New

John Koedyker

Read: 1 John 2:7-11

I am writing you no new commandment, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning . . . [yet] it is a new commandment. (vv. 7-8)

In our society, it seems that people always want what’s new—a new car, a new house, new clothes—you name it. New is best, or so it seems.

Sometimes it definitely is! A friend had an old car that experienced one problem after another. Worn out and unreliable the car was no longer safe to drive. We all breathed a sigh of relief when he bought a newer model. But in many cases we get rid of things too soon. Second hand stores have sprung up everywhere because the “old” things people get rid of still have some life to them. So new can be good, but old can also be good.

John had something similar in mind when he said that what he was writing was both old and new at the same time. What he was talking about was the command to love. That command had been around for a long time: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” (Lev. 19:18). But this old command had been given new life by Jesus. Through the life of the Savior, the meaning of love was expanded to include all people—not just fellow Jews. And besides that, the love Jesus displayed was absolute and inexhaustible. Arrest him, mock him, beat him, and crucify him, and his response was still, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” —John Koedyker

Prayer: Lord, please help us to love like Jesus. Amen.