Jesus loves you – do you love Jesus?
June 16, 2023
Probably the most widely known Bible verse is John 3:16: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life (NKJV). Let’s tag on the next verse, John 3:17: “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.”
These verses highlight the bedrock of Christian belief. A loving God wanted a lost world to be restored to his family, so He made the most selfless of exchanges. He loved us so much he traded the life of His Son for us! Those that profess Christianity recognize this vast love from the Heavenly Father, but how often do we think about our love for Him?
Later in the gospel of John, Jesus is having a conversation with His followers. He states in chapter 14 verse 15, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” Jesus reiterates this in verse 21: “He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me.” Again in verse 23 and 24, Jesus declares: “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”
Out of Jesus' own mouth comes the idea that we love Him through obedience to His teaching! In case we missed it the first time, Jesus makes the statement two more times. Jesus even emphasizes the importance of what He is talking about by mentioning “and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me.”
To some, this may sound like a daunting task – keeping Jesus’ teaching. Jesus knew this would be a concern to His followers, so He addressed this in the same setting. John 14:16a says “And I will pray to the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever…” Just a few verses later in 25 and 26 Jesus states, “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”
Jesus is at the right hand of the Father now, but He sent the Holy Spirit to every believer, among other things, to remind us of what Jesus taught. So part of the Holy Spirit’s job is just to help us love Jesus by helping us keep His commandments.
Now we come to a huge question: What are the “commandments of Jesus?” Jesus says four times in the book of John "Love one another." This instruction is simple but hard to do without the Helper, the Holy Spirit, mentioned earlier.
I believe starting with this commandment of Jesus will put us on the right track. Yes, there are more things that Jesus asks us to do. Read the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) and find out.