Loved people are free to love people
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 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. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Loved people are free to love people. You may notice this in others around you, but let’s remember this was true for Jesus as well. Before Jesus invites his disciples to abide in his love, he affirms he is first loved. “As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you” (John 15:9). Fascinating. Jesus says his love comes from another source. It’s Jesus’ connection with his Father in Heaven which fills him with the love he needs to love others and to do God’s will.
Jesus was not exempt from the same process Ryan was explaining on Sunday – human experience turns into attitude and attitude turns into action. From Jesus’ experience flowed an affectionate attitude resulting in remarkably sacrificial action. This is why Paul can use Jesus as an example for us. When we allow ourselves to receive God’s love and experience the goodness of relationship with him, our attitudes can re-align with this reality and will flow out though our actions into the sacrificial call to love others.
The command Jesus gives is to “love one another as I have loved you” (John 15:12). How can we love others as Jesus loves unless we know his love first? If all we focus on in our Christian life are the hard parts of our relationship with God – fixing our problems, righting our wrongs, becoming “better” – we may never experience the good parts of our relationship with him. Today, let’s not focus on how we can love others. Let’s simply relish in the song of happiness we sing knowing we’re loved by the King. Listen to How Can I Keep From Singing by Chris Tomlin.
34 A new commandment I give to you,
that you love one another:
just as I have loved you,
you also are to love one another.
35 By this all people will know
that you are my disciples,
if you have love for one another.”
By Yvonne Biel