The problem is that John 15:13 is out of context. If you look at it in context, what is Jesus talking about? His fellowship with one another.
NASB Translation: Note, this is shortly before he even lays down his own life for them at the cross.
12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have
loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his
life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do what I command
you. 15 No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know
what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all
things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16
You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you
would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that
whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This
I command you, that you love one another.
Then in Mathew we see that this is answering the law: The Sermon on the Mount; The Beatitudes
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and
hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for
those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father
who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the
good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if
you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the
tax collectors do the same? 47 If you greet only your brothers, what
more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?
48 Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is
In an earlier verse in Mathew you even see him commit a similar message to the crowd.
21 “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT
COMMIT MURDER’ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the
court.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his
brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his
brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the
supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough
to go into the fiery hell. 23 Therefore if you are presenting your
offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has
something against you, 24 leave your offering there before the altar
and go; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present
your offering. 25 Make friends quickly with your opponent at law
while you are with him on the way, so that your opponent may not hand
you over to the judge, and the judge to the officer, and you be thrown
into prison. 26 Truly I say to you, you will not come out of there
until you have paid up the last cent.
So is there two standards? No. It is the same standard, but the audience and the focus of the application is different.
Context is everything.
Because there seems to be confusion to make myself clear. One of these statements are direct instructions to the disciples, not to everyone. The other is a generalization to clarify the nature of the law.
To clarify the law side of this we see the clarity written in Romans
Tools specific to Rom 12:9 - 21
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is
good. 10 Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give
preference to one another in honor; 11 not lagging behind in
diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope,
persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, 13 contributing to the
needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
14 Bless those who
persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who
rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward
one another; do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the
lowly. Do not be wise in your own estimation. 17 Never pay back evil
for evil to anyone. Respect what is right in the sight of all men.
18 If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men.
19 Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the
wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,”
says the Lord. 20 “BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS
THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS
ON HIS HEAD.” 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with
My point isn't that you are to even worry about dieing or killing, but that is God's concern. Take care of your friends and enemies.
Romans does an excellent job of clarifying such situations where people do not understand the teachings of Christ.
But let me go one further. When it comes to the law, was any man able to fulfill the law before Christ Jesus? Even now, the law has been fulfilled, and yet you try to be the lamb that God has already supplied.
6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for
the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though
perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God
demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been
justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God
through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God
through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we
shall be saved by His life. 11 And not only this, but we also
exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now
received the reconciliation.
The purpose of the Sermon on the Mount was to make known their salvation, which was reveled later through Paul.
So I stick with my original summary, context is everything.
The following is added to make clear some discussion points from below.
For someone to claim that the way is "karma", you have to throw away everything else about Christ Jesus.
Matthew 1: 21 She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for
He will save His people from their sins.” 22 Now all this took place to
fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: 23 “BEHOLD, THE
VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS
NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.”
If the way was Karma, then why would we need someone to save us? The law should be sufficient.
Lets look at what Jesus is claimed to be and what he accepts.
Matthew 16: 13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi,
He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?”
14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but
still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” 15 He *said to them, “But
who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ,
the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you,
Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My
Father who is in heaven. 18 I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon
this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not
overpower it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and
whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever
you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” 20 Then He warned
the disciples that they should tell no one that He was the Christ.
And lets look at
John 14: 1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe
also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were
not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I
go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to
Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 4 And you know the way
where I am going.” 5 Thomas *said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You
are going, how do we know the way?” 6 Jesus *said to him, “I am the way,
and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
So if The Way is Karma, then I am the Karma, the truth, and the life? Wrong.
The way from Strong's lexicon is the word ὁδός Hodos.
- way: travelled way, road; travellers way, journey, travelling
- course of conduct
- way (i.e. manner) of thinking, feeling, deciding
Jesus set the path, we follow. That is the meaning of the Way.
Also Karma has to ignore John the baptist. Now for the twisted mind that wants to call Jesus a martyr. Ignoring the fact that he was resurrected, and he knew he would be this also explains the view of him.
John 1: 29 The next day he *saw Jesus coming to him and *said, “Behold,
the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
But lets look at the law itself.
Romans 3: 19 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those
who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the
world may become accountable to God; 20 **because by the works of the Law
no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the
knowledge of sin.
21 But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been
manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,** 22 even the
righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who
believe; for there is no distinction; 23 for all have sinned and fall
short of the glory of God, 24 being justified as a gift by His grace
through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; 25 whom God displayed
publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to
demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed
over the sins previously committed; 26 for the demonstration, I say, of
His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the
justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.
27 Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works?
No, but by a law of faith. 28 For we maintain that a man is justified by
faith apart from works of the Law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is
He not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since indeed
God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised
through faith is one.
31 Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the
contrary, we establish the Law.
On verse 3 there are distinctly 2 different laws being described. Works of the flesh, which cannot provide righteousness, and the law of righteousness, which is made clear in Romans 4.
Rom 4: 1 What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to
the flesh, has found? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has
something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the
Scripture say? “ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS
RIGHTEOUSNESS.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a
favor, but as what is due. 5 But to the one who does not work, but
believes in Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as
righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing on the man to
whom God credits righteousness apart from works:
7 “BLESSED ARE THOSE WHOSE LAWLESS DEEDS HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN,
AND WHOSE SINS HAVE BEEN COVERED.
8 “BLESSED IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.”
Apparently that the Journey of the Torah is not understood without Christ being the fulfillment of the law.