March 12, 2020
True Love Obeys
“Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me”(John 14:21-24).
From childhood we are all taught and told the importance of being obedient as in the words of Proverbs 22:6 (Train up a child….) It’s hardwired into our minds.
Today’s passage is an interesting conversation between Jesus and his disciples about love and obedience.
C.S Lewis defines 4 types of love:
Storge– The familial bond between people; this can be within or without the family, but it is mostly based on need.
For example: Joram and Jehoshapat (2 Kings:3).
Philios– Love between friends whose interests and values overlap.
For example, David and Jonathan.
Eros– Romantic love.
Agape– The greatest, unconditional love
I will stick to Agape love and its relation to today’s passage. When we read through it, we see that the importance of obedience to God’s Word is mentioned twice in as many verses.
True love obeys(v 21):While we were still sinners, God loved us and gave his only Son to us. Though separation from the Father was the most painful thing, Jesus emptied himself to become like us and became obedient to death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8). If you love someone, you will obey them. But how can you obey,if you do not know, and how can you know if you do not listen. When we look at the life of King Saul, we see that he failed in this aspect of his relationship with God. And that is when Samuel comes out saying, “Obedience is better than sacrifice”(1 Samuel 15:22).
True love reveals (v 22):In Genesis 18:17, we see another facet of Agapelove between God and man. “Can I hide my plans from Abraham?”The love between God and Abraham was so strong that God did not want to hide his plans from Abraham. We all know that Abraham was so obedient to God that he did not withhold his only son. But this testing came after God revealed his plan to Abraham about Sodom and how he would make Abraham into a great nation. Abraham understood the mind of God because he knew God and his plans for him. This was made known to him because of God’s love and his words.
True love fulfills(v 23):When we obey the Word of God, we begin to understand the mind of God. When we understand the mind of God and respond in obedience, we receive the greatest fulfillment of our lives – God abiding within us. Obedience is pivotal for maintaining the presence of God in our lives. It is his love for usthat brings us near to him and our love for himthat enables us to keep his Word.
Prayer:May the God of new beginnings grant us the grace to persevere in our obedience to his Word. Amen.