I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.6 And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.
2 John 4-6
The message in these few verses is one that must have been important to John. He emphasized it in nearly everything he wrote. It’s found at least five times in 1 John and seven in the apostle’s gospel. And it’s a theme that has come up at several of our studies at church recently.
As I’ve contemplated what the “old command” “from the beginning” could be, I had to go back to Genesis. The only command I can find at the beginning was “Don’t eat from the tree.” So I made it my mission to figure out how the two go together.
Have you ever noticed God often has two messages when He speaks. The first is always the exact words we hear, but most of the time our Creator wants us to pay attention to the heart of His message, too.
So, what’s the heart of the message, “Don’t eat from the tree”? After reading John, I believe it’s “Trust me. Have faith I know what’s best for you. Love me enough to obey whatever I tell you even if it looks foolish to your limited human knowledge.”
What if the only command God ever had was to love Him? “Love me enough to obey. Love me enough to believe I know what’s best.” What if everything our Heavenly Father has ever done was to teach us to love Him so we can love others?
My friends and I joke that common sense is in short supply these days. But when I think about it, I’m like Eve. My human, very common, sense sometimes gets me in trouble. We need more than common sense. We need a supernatural sense, uncommon sense. If we truly want things to work out for the best, we need God’s sense. John tells us how to get it. God told Adam how to achieve it from the beginning.
John wrote us an old command, one that was from the beginning. We must love our Savior so much we’re willing to obey Him even when we don’t understand His instructions. Even when . . . especially when . . . I think I know better, I want my love for Christ to conquer my oh too common sense so I can obey.