The pharisees in Jesus’ day knew that the two major commands were:
- love God
- love others
And Jesus said, He is giving us a commandment. Let’s take a look and John 14 and 15 to investigate what He says about this commandment.
The astonishing benefits
He says over and over that there are benefits to be had if we obey His command. I have snipped just the key bits out and highlighted them, so you can see the vast number of verses that make this message so clear and so unavoidable.
Let’s see the verses:
15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command. 16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth.
21 Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.”
23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.
10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
At this point you are probably jumping our of your chair yelling: OK ALREADY!!!! WHAT’S THE COMMAND!!!
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Yep. That’s it. If you do that command, you will reap the rewards He promised. Then He goes on, just in case you didn’t hear it the first time:
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends
17 This is my command: Love each other.
In John 14 and 15 Jesus says over and over that we will receive many benefits if we keep His command. He repeated it several times to be sure that we’d get the message.
The benefits of obedience include some tremendous promises:
- I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever the Spirit of truth
- will be loved by My Father
- I too will love him and show myself to him
- My Father will love him
- we will come to him and make our home with him
- you will remain in my love
- You are my friends if
It’s worth noticing that He keeps saying “if” you keep my command. Then in John 15 He drops the bomb. Twice. He has told us that we must be obedient to His command, but He hasn’t told us the command yet. He then tells us twice what His command is:
- My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
- This is my command: Love each other.
There really is no reason to be confused about His command. It’s the same command given in the Old Testament too (read about love in Isaiah God’s idea of fasting is to love others). It is love! If we will keep that command, we can expect great INTIMACY with God and very personal love from God.
How does this work, what is the practical application of this?
To understand how the church and the different gifts all work together in this one command, please read How do we love others – a parable of the church body