Love like Jesus!

Love Like Jesus!

John 15 gives us an interesting perspective on the law, tying it closely to love.

Jesus compared our relationship with Him to a branch needing to stay connected to a vine in order to remain alive and fruitful (see John 15:1-8). Then He made this statement:

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.” 
(John 15:9, NLT)

He loves you and me with a perfect love. It’s complete, it’s underserved, and it is unconditional. He wants us to remain or rest in this love.

So, how do you do that? Reading on:

“When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (John 15:10-11, NLT)

Wait a minute, I thought His love was unconditional. We have to obey the commandments to remain in His love? And which commandments are these?

First of all, notice this is more of a statement of fact rather than a command. Jesus had just “commanded” His disciples to remain in Him the way a branch remained in a vine so it could be fruitful (see John 15:1-8). Obeying Jesus’ commandments is the fruit – or the result – of staying connected to Him.

This goes along with what the Apostle James wrote in James 2:

What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well” – but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do?

So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless.

Now someone may argue, “Some people have faith; others have good deeds.” But I say, “How can you show me your faith if you don’t have good deeds? I will show you my faith by my good deeds.” (James 2:14-18, NLT)

When you give yourself to Jesus, He will change your life. The direction of that change will always be towards greater harmony with His law because that’s how you’re designed to live. The closer you come to Him – the more you are connected to Him in love – the more your life will be ordered by God’s law.

And what is this law Jesus is talking about. He makes this clear too:

“This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:12-13, NLT)

This is the “New Commandment” Jesus articulated a few paragraphs before that same night (see John 13:34-35). This is the kind of love that caused Jesus to give up His life for your salvation.

Now He wants you to love others in the same way! He wants you to love others so much that no sacrifice would be too great to make for their salvation.

A few sentences later, He repeats this just to make sure you don’t miss it:

“This is my command: Love each other.” (John 15:17, NLT)

Loving each other like this is what it means to remain in Jesus’ love. Because when we love like this, we love like Jesus. And according to Jesus, this is what should set us apart as His followers (see John 13:35).