Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. This is my commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
I was struck by these verses this morning. It is a bit overwhelming, all of the meaning that is packed in here. Jesus continues to amaze me. It is something sweet to read our Lord’s instructions to his disciples. Of all that is contained here my attention this morning was captured by the thought of divine love. It was his words “Just as the Father has loved me, I have also loved you;” that struck me. This is truly eternal love. Love is a noble thing in our society but I wonder if it really is understood. Most of all I wonder if people know the source of love and that sin has tainted all love…that is except for divine love. I John tells us that God is love. It is who He is and what He does. What He has always done. You see God did not create humans so that He could finally experience love. He already had. The Father has always loved the Son and Son has always loved the Father. (John 17:24) The greatest love story ever told starts here. Before we even entered the scene! Then He did it. God created and He extended love to us. Out of pride and self-interest we all turned away from Him, yet He perused us still. This is where we come to the words of our Lord in chapter 15. Jesus came and loved us with eternal divine love. He tells his disciples that He loved them just as the Father loved him! It is interesting that He then gives them the commandment to love each other just He has loved them. How are they going to love like Jesus?
The only way that we can love, and I mean truly love like Jesus loves, is if we have first been radically changed by his divine love ourselves. Jesus comes to this when he says; “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” Jesus was telling them how it was going to go down because that is exactly what he did at the cross. The cross was the magnificent display of the glory and love of God for His people. Jesus died for us so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin and separated from God, but connected to God through faith in Him and empowered to love just as He has loved us.