After Jesus has emphasized the importance of remaining in him and his words remaining in his disciples so that they are enabled to live a fruitful life, Jesus then continues with the instruction to remain in his love. This is a three step love, the Father loves Jesus, Jesus loves his disciples and his disciples are to love each other. vv 9,12 There is something similar to the conservation of energy about this love in that it does not lose any of its force when transferred from one to another. Jesus loves his disciples to the same extent and in the same way as the Father loves him. The disciples then are to love each other in just the same way. ‘As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.’ v9 ‘My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.’ v12
The implications of Jesus’ statement are a lot to take in. God the Father’s love for Jesus cannot be surpassed, it is eternal in nature and is expressed through his pleasure in him. Math 3.17 It is a sacrificial love unto death. v13 It is not self centred, it considers the other first and it is reciprocal love. Which is why Jesus says, ‘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.’ V10 His is not the love of an abuser who is making his love conditional. It is a love where Jesus was obedient because he was filled with love for his Father and obedience was his desire.
This is love intended to bring great joy. v11 Why joy and not happiness? It is joy because it is eternal and not transient. It is a love that brings purpose and peace and is not subject to circumstances. It is a love that does not rely on the fickleness of humans because its source is God the Father. It is a love that is open and explained and so each party is able to trust one another. Jesus has raised his disciples to the status of friends. ‘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.’ v15 Jesus has made known to his disciples God’s full intentions and what has been made possible for them through Jesus’ death and resurrection. He has explained how he has equipped them for their mission in the world. They have the security that it was Jesus who chose them, and not the other way round, even if it seemed like it at the time. v16 If Jesus has chosen you, why would you have anything else to fear? He has provided each Christian with a community to belong to, to be loved by and to love.
Have you taken time to absorb the love of Jesus for you personally?
Love Divine All Loves Excelling – The All Souls Orchestra