There is a sense in which the nature (and history) of Christian churches hinges upon understanding the implications of command and commandment. There is a sense in which the Fourth Gospel (of 'John') amounts to a redefinition, a change in meaning, of command/ ment, and thereby of the nature of what Jesus intended to happen after his death.
If we focus on the use of command/ ment in the Gospel, we can see than the early Old Testament assumption about what this means is subverted by its usage, until it is gradually made clear that the OT assumptions of the Master-servant, Law-obedience model of the relation between God and Men; needs to be replaced by a new 'model'.
In a nutshell: obedience unfolds and is redefined through the course of the Gospel. As Jesus explains (really very clearly, with repetitions in different words) just how he wishes his followers to behave and how they should relate to him, and to each other.
The wishes of Jesus are actually very obvious; but also very different indeed from how 'things turned out'.
12: 49-50 - For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father
which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I
should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
This first mention of commanding sounds much like the OT Master-servant relationship - command means law, law implies obedience - blind obedience when the reason for command has not been understood. A top-down model. But...
14:15 and 21 - If ye love me, keep my commandments... He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he
it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father,
and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
So far - what Jesus says is still compatible with the OT - but wait!... Jesus introduces love; and this ought to make us suspect something new and different is going on; because love is not something that can be 'commanded' in the sense of ordered: a command to love cannot be obeyed. One cannot (think about it...) rationally make a Law to love.
The simple fact that we cannot obey an order to love is (I think) obvious once pointed-out; but has failed to register because (it seems) that the Ancient Hebrews operationalised 'love' as 'obedience' - and people (apparently) ceased to notice that obedience isn't really love...
But Jesus is about to change this. What that fact of not-commandable-love means is that the first and primary two commandments - to love God and neighbour - cannot be 'commands' in the sense in which people usually tend to understand them. The concept of 'command' being used must be different from 'order' - and this is made clear later in the Fourth Gospel.
From Chapter 15: 12-17 - This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth
I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord
doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard
of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love...
Here is Jesus's new understanding of what command means. To 'abide in love' means something like a harmony of purpose, based on mutual love. And this is clarified by Jesus telling the disciples explicitly that their relation is one of loving friends and Not of Master and servant; that they are not supposed to obey blindly without comprehension - but that he will provide the understanding that is necessary for the disciples to obey from loving harmony of purpose.
Jesus is asking for love, faith, trust, friendship and loyalty - all of which is distinct from the obedience of a servant due to his Master. Duty may be ordered - but love cannot.
Therefore, a man must want to be a member of Jesus's 'family'. The community of Jesus's followers is being envisaged as a group of mutually loving friends who mutually love Jesus - that is, as a Christian family, a family of Christians - whose harmony of purpose derives-from this love. And the disciples are specifically told that the proper relationship is not any more to be in the old command-and-obey; Master-and-servant form.
As things happened, a Christian Church was formed, a legalistic organisation based on the assumption that love could be commanded in the sense of being ordered by a Master, and that people could and should obey (if necessary, without comprehension) - like servants.
But it certainly looks as if Jesus went to considerable lengths to explain that this was not what he wanted from his disciples - and that he envisaged his followers as cohering like a family, not as an organisation (legally regulated); growing-from loving personal relationships and a high vision of (family-like) friendship.
Jesus seems to be instructing his discples to discard the OT Master-servant, order-obey, uncomprehending, legalistic relationship; and for it to be replaced by a harmony of purpose, based-on loving friendship, knowedge of Jesus (provided to each individually by the Holy Ghost) - and presumably 'enforced' by mutual loyalty (rather than duty) deriving from the characteristic loyalty among loving family members.
Note: from the above one can certainly see why it was decided to demote the Fourth Gospel to a subsidiary and dependent role - implicitly inferior to the Synoptics and Pauline Epistles. Because when I regard the Fourth Gospel as the most authoritative source on Jesus's life and teachings, and read it in isolation, it does seem to contradict a lot of what has come to be taken for granted - and presumably that fact or problem was noticed by the compilers of the Bible and early scholars - who decided implicitly to disregard the internal evidence of the primacy of the Fourth Gospel, in favour of embedding it in a mosaic of other authors.