Before Jesus shares a meal with his followers, before he washes their feet, before he commands them to love each other, before his farewell sermon and prayer, he summarizes his entire preaching in this way:
After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them. 37Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him. 38This was to fulfil the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
‘Lord, who has believed our message,
and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?’
39And so they could not believe, because Isaiah also said,
40 ‘He has blinded their eyes
and hardened their heart,
so that they might not look with their eyes,
and understand with their heart and turn—
and I would heal them.’
41Isaiah said this because he saw his glory and spoke about him.42Nevertheless many, even of the authorities, believed in him. But because of the Pharisees they did not confess it, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; 43for they loved human glory more than the glory that comes from God.
44 Then Jesus cried aloud: ‘Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. 45And whoever sees me sees him who sent me.46I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. 47I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. 48The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on the last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, 49for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. 50And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.’ - John 12
I love verse 50, and I can't get around it - God's commandment is eternal life.
We spend a lot of time and energy trying to live up to God's commandments (or fearing that we don't!). We'll preach on the commandment to love each other and how impossible it is. On how unique Jesus' love is for us, on how he fulfills the commandments for us. And those are all good things to dwell on!
But God's commandment is eternal life. What if we followed that commandment and started living?