“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.
Written by: Robert Watson
Jesus didn’t come to start some new kind of religion. In fact, Jesus was quite opposed to religion. Religion is all about checklists and rules. Those who can keep the most rules are filled with pride and those who fall short are filled with despair. Jesus came to replace religion with something far more powerful and personal. Jesus came to restore relationships.
The only “rule” Jesus instituted was the rule of love. Now that we can be called friends of God (see verse 15), Jesus tells us how His friends should behave. We are to love others the same way that Jesus has loved us. This command to love is not about us earning brownie points with God—we are already completely loved and accepted by God through faith in Jesus. This command to love is so that others might come to know their loving Father in Heaven. As we love others with the grace and servanthood of Jesus, our relationships are restored and strengthened and, as a result, we experience a little bit of Heaven on earth.
Thought of the day: It is difficult to love as Jesus loves us if we don’t take the time to reflect on His example. How has Jesus loved you? Think about His grace, forgiveness, patience, suffering, and humility.
Prayer: Pray, thanking Jesus for His example of love. Ask Him for opportunities today to love others with this same kind of love.