Learning to “One-Another” : The Art of Discipleship

Love one another 1

The Case for Interdependence in the Scripture

What Does God Require? or

Learning to “One-Another”: The Art of Discipleship

            That is the question that the Prophet Micah asks and answers in Micah 6:8. “He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” In other words, the Prophet is answering the same question that is asked three times in the New Testament.

“What commandment is the foremost of all?”

            Three times in the New Testament that question is asked, and three times the same answer is given. Two times Jesus is asked the question (by a lawyer in Lk. 10:25-29; and by a Pharisee in Mt. 22:34-40). On another occasion, Jesus turns the tables and addresses the question to a scribe who gives the same answer Jesus gave to the lawyer and the Pharisee Mk. 12:28-34.

37 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, `You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”     (Matthew 22:37-40)

            Jesus, the scribe, the Pharisees and the lawyer all were referring to the “Shema” of Israel. It was this combination of Deuteronomy 6:4-5 with Leviticus 19:18 that Jesus said was the summation of the whole Old Testament.

            So, when Jesus quotes the Shema, he is not introducing new teaching so much as helping his audience to refocus and to see the inner heart of biblical love, care, and justice.

            Which is why the prophets say things like “Do not devise evil in your hearts against one another” (Zechariah 7:10) and “speak the truth to one another” (Zechariah 8:16) and in Ezekiel’s exhortation to “speak the word of God to one another” (Ezekial 33:30). They are echoing and applying the great commandment in Deuteronomy 6:5 and its companion in Leviticus 19:18. And they are applying the law in telling Israel that she is “not to wrong one another” (Lev. 25:14, 17) and that they “shall not rule over one another with severity” (Lev. 25:46).

            Which is why it is no surprise that Jesus follows up his answer to the lawyer with the parable of the good Samaritan. His point is clear. Biblical people who love God, treat people radically different.

Bible Study:  The Case for Mutual Interdependence

            Examine the life of Joseph (Genesis 37-48) against the internal purpose of the law. In what ways do Joseph’s brothers fail? In what ways does Joseph succeed? (cf. also Gen. 18:19 and Lev. 19:9-18; 25:14, 17, 46). Compare Joseph and his brother’s responses to the “one–anothers” of the NT listed below. Imagine the brothers responding according to this teaching in the “multi-colored coat” incident? How would things be different? Write it up and teach it to your family.

“Love One Another”
(Jn 13:34; 13:35; 15:17; 1 Thes 4:9; 1 Jn 3:11; 4:7; 1 Pt 1:22; 4:8)

Working Out Our Love For One Another


Stimulate one another to love and good deeds  (Heb 10:24)
Let each one regard one another as more important than himself   (Phil 2:3)
Be of the same mind towards one another  (Rm 12:16, 15:5)
Clothe yourself with humility toward one another  (1 Pt 5:5)
Be kind, tenderhearted and forgiving to one another  (Eph 4:32; Col 3:13)
Accept one another   (Rm 15:7)
Do not judge one another   (Rm 14:3)
Show forbearance with one another in love  (Eph 4:2)
Wait for one another   (1 Cor 11:33)


Speak the truth to one another  (Eph 4:25; Rm 12:5)
Do not lie to one another  (Col 3:9)
Speak to one another in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs   (Eph 5:19)
Admonish one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs  (Col 3:16; Rm 15:14)
Encourage one another   (1 Thess 5:11; Heb 3:13, 10:25)
Do not complain against one another  (Jms 5:9; 1 Pt 4:9)
Do not speak against one another   (Jms 4:11)
Confess your sins to one another   (Jms 5:16)
Pray for one another  (Jms 5:16)


Be devoted to one another in brotherly love  (Rm 12:10)
Give preference to one another in honor  (Rm 12:10)
Be subject to one another  (Eph 5:21)
Serve one another through love  (Gal 5:13)
Bear the burdens of one another   (Gal 6:2; Col 3:13)
Comfort one another  (1 Thess 4:18)
Seek after that which is good for one another  (1 Thess 5:15)
Be hospitable to one another  (1 Pt 4:9)
Employ special gifts in serving one another  (1 Pt 4:10)
Greet each other with a holy kiss of love   (2 Cor 13:12; 1 Pt 5:14; Rm 16:16;)
Stop depriving one another  (1 Cor 7:5)
Have the same care for one another  (1 Cor 12:25)
Be at peace with one another  (Mark 9:50; 1 Thess 5:13)

[1] There is some overlap in these three categories.

© 2003 Marty Schoenleber

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