John 15:9-12

[Jesus said:] “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you."

Jesus speaks about love in this passage — not just any love, but the love that exists between him and the Father and his love for his disciples.

He starts by drawing a parallel between the Father's love for him and his love for his disciples. The love that Jesus has for us is of the same nature and intensity as the love between the persons of the Trinity. This is a staggering thought because we know how deep their love is!

However, this love is not just an emotion. Jesus calls his disciples to remain in his love, implying that it’s possible NOT to remain in his love. So, how do we remain in Jesus' love? By keeping his commands.

This might seem like a contradiction - is Jesus' love conditional on our obedience? No, Jesus' love for us is unconditional and unending. But our experience of that love, our abiding in that love, is dependent on our obedience.

Jesus himself is the model for this. He kept his Father's commands and remained in his love. His obedience didn't earn the Father's love, but it was the way he abided in that love.

And what is the result of abiding in Jesus' love? Complete joy. When we live in obedience to Jesus, we experience the fullness of his joy. This isn't a superficial happiness but a deep, abiding joy that comes from being in the right relationship with God.

Finally, Jesus commands us to love each other as he has loved us. The love we have received from Jesus should overflow into love for others. This is not sentimental love but an accepting, forgiving, and ultimately sacrificial love—the kind of love Jesus demonstrated on the cross.

As we reflect on these verses, let's ask ourselves: Do we truly believe and accept the love Jesus has for us? Are we abiding in his love through obedience to his commands? And are we loving others with the love we have received?

May we abide in Jesus' love, experience his joy, and love others as he has loved us.

God bless you.

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