John 15:13-17, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I 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 remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.”
Every day we hear the word “LOVE” expressed in a number of ways (people, food, clothes, movies etc.). A musician at the end of his concert would conclude with something like this “I love you all” which may mean little or nothing. If we are to understand love, we have to get the biblical definition that both Christ and Paul give us.
There are three types of love we see in the bible Eros love, Philos love and Agape love not to be confused. I will only address Agape love which fits perfectly with this chapter. Agape love is what God commanded all believers to have for everyone (believers or not). Agape love should never be determined by our feelings; it is more of a set of behaviors or actions. With agape, you do not have to actually feel it for you to give it, which means that you can be able to show love without feeling anything at all. At times feelings can follow after showing this kind of love but they are not the defining factor. Agape love is a demonstrative love, its love in action.
Greater love lays down His life for His friends: John 15:13, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends”. Jesus demonstrated love in a greater way by laying down His life. This is considered the outworking love. John in his 1st epistle says “16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren”. By these words our Lord shows how far love to another should extend, even to the laying down of our lives for the brethren; which is the highest instance of love among men; (1John 3:16, Ephesians 5:1-2, Romans 5:8). Jesus also demonstrated love when He washed His disciples’ feet. He stripped Himself of His garments, went down on his knees and took care of part of the body most of us would want to avoid coming in contact with, John 13. This is demonstrative love He led by example.
Greater love calls for obedience: John 15:14, “ You are My friends if you do whatever I command you”. In Ephesians 5, Paul gives us in details what it means to follow God’s commands. His opening vs. “1 Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. 2 And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”. He then in details help us understand what it means to Walk in Love, Walk in Light, and Walk in Wisdom. You are a friend of Jesus when you love, forgive, care for those Jesus loves, forgives, cares for etc. because you have been instructed. 1Peter 1:22, 1Peter 3:8, 1Peter 4:8.
Greater love defines the nature of relationship: John 15:15, “No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you”. We are not sons (friends) of God by RIGHT but by ADOPTION. Adoption is the giving to any one the name and place and privileges of a son who is not a son by birth, Ephesians 1:3-6. A son by adoption might not be heir of the property, whereas a son by birth certainly is, we are born again as sons/friends.
Greater love reaches out first and empowers to serve: John 15:16, “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain” Many claim to have chosen Christ, that is not true. He chose us, and we responded to His choosing. We love Him because He first loved us; we know Him because He knew us first. We serve because He was the first to serve, Mark 9:35, “And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all. Galatians 5:13, “… but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself” None of us can be anything apart from His effectual work in us.
Greater love seeks to give access to His friends: John 15:16, “… that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you” God has blessed us with every spiritual blessings in high places because He has adopted us through Jesus Christ to Himself. We have access to the throne of grace because of His finished work on the cross. Romans 8:14-17, “14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God 15, For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father”
We love because He first loved us, John 15:9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have 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.” Therefore Laying down your life would be a heavy price to give up; the payoff is personal growth and the opportunity to develop a wonderful and supportive relationship of Christ to others. Love is duty, (sacrificial) 1Corinthians 13:7 Love “… bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” When you live his love out loud, it shows that Jesus is real. Practical Christian lives points to the reality that Christ is real, and the Savior of the world. Let us love in deed and in truth, Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works”; 1 John 3:18, “My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but indeed and in truth.” To continue, Blessings Ev