"As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.
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.
"These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.
You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.
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.
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.
These things I command you, that you love one another.
There is a feeling — or maybe a deep understanding — that much in this latter part of John’s Gospel is Jesus’ personal testimony as well as His gift to us. He says “As the Father loved me, I also have loved you;” and thus testifies to the completeness of His relationship with Father God. He is teaching us and reaching into the very depths of us in a way that — though we may wish to deny it — cannot be cast aside. It is profoundly affecting.
We must also remember that this is not like the Sermon on the Mount, speaking to the crowd; these are words for His friends, those closest to Him, and through this Gospel, we are of that privileged company.
Some believers maintain that perfection is not possible this side of the veil, and the natural rational mind struggles to comprehend how that perfection can possibly be, but here Jesus lays out the pattern that results in joy and love.
I sleep, but my heart is awake;
It is the voice of my beloved!
He knocks, saying,
"Open for me, my sister, my love,
My dove, my perfect one;
For my head is covered with dew,
My locks with the drops of the night."
Jesus is our ‘Beloved’, and in reality, much more than a friend. He speaks as someone we know very well and who knows us intimately. Never high-handed, always loving. In these verses He not only gives the commandment “that you love one another”, but adds “as I have loved you.” The commandment is not a proclamation from on high, but a statement that we should ‘do as He does’, or better, ‘be as He is.’ In this way, we can be perfect this side of eternity, and when we pray, if we pray ‘in Jesus’ name — as Jesus is — we are speaking with His authority.
Then He makes a statement, which is astounding, but also factually accurate. As far as the original disciples were concerned “You did not choose Me, but I chose you” is as it is recorded. Jesus did choose and appoint each one. But also, by His Spirit, each one of us is also chosen by Him — and that is something to which each one of us must cling tenaciously, and repeat to ourselves — ‘He chose me’!
‘Meditate on these things…’
Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
“Lovingkindness” — Matt Boswell and Matt Papa
A HOLY WALK: Oswald Chambers on FAITH
GEORGE and GILL STEWART