"By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” - John 13:35
There are 613 commandments found in the Old Testament. By the time of Jesus in the first century, the Jewish people had become so focused on following rules that most of them had forgotten the reason for the rules in the first place.
As explained by Paul in his letter to the Romans, the purpose of the Law was to reveal our sin to us (Romans 3:20). Only once we have come to terms with our sin can we be open to accepting forgiveness for this sin. One who feels no need to repent will feel no need for Jesus.
The Law served as a precursor to Jesus Christ who, in His fulfillment of the Law, freed us from its bondage. As Paul states, "Through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death" (Romans 8:2).
When asked by a Pharisee which commandment of the Law was greatest, Jesus replied, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets" (Matt 22:37-40).
Paul reiterates this message when he tells the Galatians, "For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself" (Gal 5:14).
Christians in our modern world are known for many things. Some good and some bad. But if we are to truly be known as disciples of Jesus, we must be known for our love. The definition of love has been distorted in our world. But luckily we can know the true meaning of love through meditating on the life and sacrifice of Jesus.
"For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done for you" - John 13:15