The Upper Room Discourse 32 Rabbi Michael Weiner
John 15:12 This is My commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.
Oh, the error! How is it even possible, this verse could be read and completely misunderstood? Yeshua is making His summation. These are His final words to His disciples before His crucifixion. Time is short. The situation is urgent. His constant refrain to us is that we must show our love through obedience, just as He has done.
Now He speaks about the horizontal beam of the cross, “Love one another.” (The vertical beam is about loving God.) That’s nothing new, it is as old as Leviticus 19:18b … love your neighbor as yourself … Leviticus 19:18 ends with this phrase … I am Adonai. Yeshua ends John 15:12 … as I have loved you. These are parallel thoughts.
“Rabbi,” you might ask, “What is the error?” It is thinking that “love one another” is Yeshua’s only commandment. He does say, Matthew 22:39-40 And the second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire Torah and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. We must never think that just because the two commandments (love God and love each other) are central to all the other commandments, that they supersede, replace, and do away with all the other commandments.
All the other commandments must be viewed through the lens of love of God and love of people to be properly understood and obeyed. Yeshua went on to say this. Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I came to abolish the Torah or the Prophets! I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. When something is filled up full it is not done away. Yeshua immediately expresses as much. Matthew 5:19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others the same, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever keeps and teaches them, this one shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
The “least in the kingdom” is still in the kingdom. But, why settle for least when the Lord is inviting you to be called “great in the kingdom.” Answer His call and be like Him. He obeyed all the commandments.