Love, Friendship, and Knowing the Father

“This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.  You are My friends, if you do what I command you.  No longer do I call you slaves; for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you” (Jn 15:12-15).

Here Jesus repeats His commandment that we are to love one another.  And the standard for that love is “just as I have loved you.”  We are to love as Jesus loves.  Now, your first thought might be, “That is an impossible standard.”  Is it?  After all, in the truest sense, it is not you or I who are doing the loving.

A consistent theme in Jesus’ message here in the upper room has been, “I, Christ, will be in you.  The Helper, the Holy Spirit, is coming to dwell in you.”  When we love one another, who is doing the loving?  Christ is the one loving our brothers and sisters because Christ is living His resurrected life in us.  We have all we need inside to love “just as I have loved you.”

Jesus modeled love to the most sacrificial level possible.  He demonstrated the “greatest love” by giving His life for us; we who He now calls His friends.  Sacrificial love is at the heart of Jesus’ teaching throughout the gospels.  Loving our enemies.  Being generous to those who cannot pay us back.  Do not look for a return on your love investment.  Give your love away unattached to a condition.  This is sacrificial love.

In addition to laying down His life for us, His friends, Jesus also lives out His friendship with us by letting us in on His plans.  Jesus reminds us that the slave has no idea of what the master is doing.  But we are no longer slaves.  We are Jesus’ friends.  And He wants us to know what He is doing.

Let this idea sink in for a minute.  “ALL things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.”  How much is ALL things?  The scope of this is incredible.  All that Jesus has revealed in the gospels; all of His plans and promises that He explained were His way of telling His followers, now His friends, exactly what He is doing in the world.

Please take this to heart.  In Jesus – in His character, actions, and words – we have ALL we need to know about the Father.  There is no big mystery about God that is hidden that we somehow need to uncover; somehow need to figure out.  No, God in His generosity and love toward us has revealed everything about Himself that we need to know.

Are there mysteries about God still out there?  Of course, there are.  But absolutely none that we need to know in order to believe His gospel message and live the life He has chosen for us as His new creation, His beloved child.  Jesus has revealed to us everything we need to know about the Father.  Listen to the Son.

One thought on “Love, Friendship, and Knowing the Father”

  1. “In Jesus – in His character, actions, and words – we have ALL we need to know about the Father.” This is very, very good. And it’s Twitterable. I remember years ago hearing a New Testament professor in a seminary suggest reading at least something from the Gospels each day in order to understand and know Jesus. And know who God is.

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