“Dear friends, I am not writing you a new command but an old one, which you have had since the beginning. This old command is the message you have heard. 8 Yet I am writing you a new command; its truth is seen in him and in you, because the darkness is passing and the true light is already shining.” 1 John 2.7-8
Old commands, new commands, old law, new covenant. John writes as a Jew. I’m assuming he’s been a Jew his whole life, lived in Galilee, born in that region, a member of one of the twelve tribes of Israel. John’s worldview is Jewish. Although not a teacher of the Law, he was educated in the Torah and studied the Scriptures as any faithful Jewish boy would.
And so, when he says, I am not writing you a new command command but an old one, I feel like he’s securing his roots into Judaism, into the Law and the Prophets, into God’s Word. What we know as the Old Testament that which was in the beginning. And this old message, John writes to Jews and Christians alike, is the message you heard when you were growing up as Jews (my interpretation). I think John’s saying, “Remember the scripture! What you were taught! This new command is actually the old one full of promises God made long ago.” (again, my twist on things).
But then John changes his tune and says the new message is actually the old message, and the old message is actually the new. “Yet I am writing you a new command; it’s truth is seen in him and in you…” Jesus, who was born as a baby, is also the Living, Spoken, Word of God who was with God in the beginning of time. This new message about his love, salvation and grace is truly God’s message he’s been telling the Israelites for a few millennia. In other words, Jesus’ message though seemingly new, is really old. It’s the message of redemption God has been communicating to the Jews for years.
Jesus did not come to eradicate the Law of Moses but to fulfill it! (Matthew 5.17). The Gospel message we are hearing today is the same one God’s been speaking to his people since the beginning of time.
But what are we to do with this message? Are we to just hear and ignore it? By no means! We are to live into it, prioritize God in our lives, and reorder our existence around the one who first loved us.
John’s message, though new when it was written 2k years ago, was actually old then. And even though it was old then and even older now, it’s still new and fresh to each person who believes that Jesus is the Messiah. Yet, Satan has clouded the minds of people everywhere, believers and unbelievers alike. He wants us to think that Jesus doesn’t really matter and that we can deal with God when we die. But the Truth is alive in the person of Jesus Christ today and his words matter.
Why not obey his words today? Give God your time, attention and focus, and his favor will rest upon your life as you redefined your purpose in His Eternal Word.
“O Lord God, what was old is new and what was new is old. Your Word is everlasting, eternal and true. Come now, Holy Spirit, remove the veil that blinds the hearts and minds of people from seeking after you. The veil of comfort, money, security and fortune. Help us put our trust in you each and every day. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen