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Billy HallowellFeb 10, 2021 12:00:00 AM4 min read

3 Words in John 13:34 That Could Change Everything: 'Love One Another'

The Bible is filled with timeless truths that hold the power to transform our lives. Among the life-altering verses presented within are three powerful words: "love one another."

Let's begin by exploring the text of John 13:34, the Bible verse where these three words unfold, and then we can dive into the real meaning of what's implied when we are told to love one another.

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John 13:34: The Text of the 'Love One Another' Verse

John 13:34 (NIV) holds some powerful truths we must consider. The scripture — which captures Jesus' words — reads:

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

Christ's command here is simple and clear: Christians are called to love one another just as He has loved us.

On the surface, this might seem simple, but as we'll explore it's actually a deep and difficult call — but one that can transform our lives and the lives of others if we choose to live it out.

Love One Another Bible Verse: The Context

The context of this verse is essential if we want to properly understand the meaning. Earlier in John 13, we see Christ and the disciples assembled at the Last Supper before Jesus died for us.

Before Jesus gives His new commandment in the love one another scripture, He washes the disciples' feet and delivers some powerful messages about serving and loving others.

READ ALSO: 50 Scriptures About Faith Hope and Encouragement

Among the important moments, though, we also see Jesus predict Judas' betrayal. John 13:24-27 (NIV) reads:

Simon Peter motioned to this disciple and said, 'Ask him which one he means.' Leaning back against Jesus, he asked him, 'Lord, who is it?' Jesus answered, 'It is the one to whom I will give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.' Then, dipping the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. As soon as Judas took the bread, Satan entered into him.

From there we see Judas head out to betray Christ, and then we read of Jesus' prediction of Peter's denial. After Peter proclaims in John 13:27 that he will lay his life down for Jesus, Christ responds in verse 28:

Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!

But what about the love one another Bible verse? Where does that fit into the chapter (read all of John 13 on Biblica)?

Love One Another Pure Flix

Explaining the Love One Another Scripture

Just before Jesus predicts Peter's denial, we see Him implore the disciples to love one another.

First, in John 13:33 (NIV) Jesus proclaims that He will only be with the disciples "a little longer" and told them that where He was going they could not go. And then He delivered His words about loving one another in verse 34.

READ ALSO: 5 Transformational Scriptures (and Movies) About Love

This love one another scripture is transformational, as it not only implores people to show love to one another, but to do so in the same manner as Jesus. Considering that He sacrificed Himself for mankind, this is a powerful and tall order.

Christ also notes that people's decision to love one another is a marker by which other people watching will know that Christians (in this case the disciples whom he he speaking to directly) are his followers.

Considering where we are today with division and chaos, this love one another Bible verse is a call from Jesus that each of us should heed. Consider praying over John 13:34 and thinking deeper about how it should impact each of our lives.

Love One Another: Lessons in "Sweet Inspirations"

Sweet Inspirations Love One Another Pure Flix

If you're looking for a powerful movie about love, stream "Sweet Inspirations" right now on Pure Flix. It's a movie about four middle-aged ladies who discover purpose when they launch a unique fundraising effort to save a local women's shelter from imminent foreclosure, testing the limits of their friendship and themselves.

"Home Sweet Home" Shows Love in Action

Home Sweet Home Love One Another Bible Verse Pure Flix

Consider streaming "Home Sweet Home." This movie focuses on a woman who is intent on finding romance — so much so that she pretends to be a Christian to try and win a guy over. But she learns some powerful lessons about faith in the process.

Want more hope? Consider signing up for a free trial of Pure Flix for the best faith and family-friendly movies, TV shows, documentaries and original series! We'll leave you with some movie options about love below!


Billy Hallowell

Billy Hallowell has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite and on, among other outlets. Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.