Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. 34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. —John 13:33-35 (KJV)
The statement of the new commandment by Jesus in John 13:34-35 was after the Last Supper, and after the departure of Judas. The commandment was prefaced in John 13:33 by Jesus telling his remaining disciples, as little children, that he will be with them for only a short time, then will leave them.
In the commandment Jesus told the disciples: "Love one another; as I have loved you".
Just after the commandment, and before the Farewell Discourse the first reference to Peter's Denials took place, where Jesus predicted that Peter would deny him three times before the cock crow.
Two similar statements also appear in chapter 15 of the Gospel of John:
John 15:12: This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you.
John 15:17: These things I command you, that ye may love one another.
1 Peter 1:22: ... for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
The "New Commandment", the Wycliffe Bible Commentary states, "was new in that the love was to be exercised toward others not because they belonged to the same nation, but because they belonged to Christ...and the love of Christ which the disciples had seen...would be a testimony to the world".
One of the novelties introduced by this commandment – perhaps justifying its designation as New – is that Jesus "introduces himself as a standard for love". The usual criterion had been "as you love yourself". However, the New Commandmant goes beyond "as you love yourself" as found in the ethic of reciprocity and states "as I have loved you", using the Love of Christ for his disciples as the new model.