Devotions this week based on Sunday’s Message: The Source of Love! (LISTEN HERE)
“Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:12)
This little word in the English language sets up a close connection between two clauses in a sentence. It is a word that indicates a point of comparison between the first clause and the second clause, and usually that point of comparison is pretty close. The comparison is often very helpful because it puts a more concrete component next to an element that might be more abstract.
Ok, enough of the English lesson.
If Jesus would have said simply, “Love each other,” that would have been fine. However, the point of interpretation would be left up to the reader to determine what that looked like. If left up to the Apostle Peter, he might have understood love as “up to seven times” and then he was done loving. If left up to some of the religious thought of the day, you can love people who love you back, but not those that don’t love you. Perhaps if left up to Judas, love would only happen if someone paid monetarily in return.
We can skew our expression of love to match and justify how WE want to love or how WE think we should love.
This connector is so important and powerful in Jesus statement.
“…AS I have loved you.”
Now the nebulous interpretations and expressions of love are thrown out and the first clause, “Love each other” is defined by “as I have loved you.” The only way to love each other is to model the love that Jesus has shown to us.
So we must ask, “How has Jesus loved you?”
This is very personal, but there are aspects that are universal. Take time this week to consider personally how you have received and experienced the love of Jesus.
Jesus’ love is sacrificial. He gave up all to come to this world to live. He gave up his life to die on the cross. He gave up his agenda to follow his Father’s will. He gave up his time to train disciples. He gave up his reputation to confront the Pharisees and the list goes on.
Jesus’ love is inconvenient. Perhaps this is more from our perspective, but it is not always convenient to show love. After a long day, he fed 5000. When it was culturally unacceptable, he sat down and brought hope to a Samaritan woman. When his enemies stood against him, he healed the servant’s ear. When disease was a risk he healed 10 lepers. When mom’s brought their children to him, he blessed them. And the list goes on.
Jesus’ love is impactful. Jesus’ expressions of love changed people’s lives. He called fishermen to be the core group to spreading the love of Jesus. He washed those 12 feet to set an example of servant love and service. He raised the dead. He brought salvation to the taxcollector and forgiveness to the adulterer. His love changed lives…including mine and yours.
The list can go on and I invite you to continue the list. How has Jesus’ loved you?
Because “AS” Jesus has loved you will guide how you love others!
Apply: As has been suggested make a list of all the ways Jesus has loved you. How does that begin to guide your thoughts on how you are to love others.
Prayer: Lord, help me to love AS you have loved me. AMEN.