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.
John 15:10-13 (NIV)
These are Jesus’ words, red letter words in my Bible.
Love each other as I have loved you.
They’re not just words. Jesus, God in the flesh, love personified issues this command. Check the scripture again. Jesus commands it.
How did Jesus love?
The scene is the Last Supper after Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. He washed the feet of Judas who held the coins of betrayal in his pouch. He washed the feet of Peter who would swear he’d never known Jesus. He would soon endure crucifixion so that we might have life.
The disciples had already observed how Jesus loved the poor, hurting, and marginalized. He touched Gentiles, Greeks, and Samaritans as well as His own ‘kind’. He looked into the eyes of men, women, and children. He loved those who tortured Him.
With love for every person, Jesus set aside the power and glory of heaven to become a poor, homeless, rejected, despised rabbi.
Jesus loved the Father through obedience and invites us into this loving Father-Son relationship saying “remain in my love”. Love me and love the Father by obeying the commandments.
And what is the command? Lay down your power, your ego, your agenda, and your comfort for others who are different, who are hurting, and who might even hate you.
Love others as Jesus loves you.
Why does Jesus command it? Joy. Complete joy. Jesus’ joy in you. Imagine that!
When have you discovered joy through difficult or sacrificial love?
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