As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you
obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father
commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have
loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
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 business. Instead, I have called you
friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You
did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that
will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17 This is my
command: Love each other.

John 15:9-17
The middle-aged woman discovered a lump you know where. She saw her doctor as soonas she could. And he scheduled a biopsy as soon as he could. But the results of the biopsywere taking forever. Her husband took off work to be with her and started doing things andsaying things that he had never said or done before, the kind of things a woman wants tohear and see. The unexpected long wait and the unexpected change in her husband causedher to ask him the question, “Did the doctor call and say I was dying?” The husband took her hand, smiled at her reassuringly and said, “No. I guess all this has just taught me what love is all about.”

On the night that he was betrayed, speaking to the (now) eleven disciples, Jesus wanted to teach them what love is all about. Of course, the love that he was talking about was not the love between a husband and a wife, but the love that they were to show each other. He told them, “Love each other as I have loved you.”


What is love. In the case of Jesus, it’s not a physical attraction, or an emotion. It’s the fact that he cared enough about them to get involved in our lives – to live a holy life and to die an innocent death to save us.

Each one of is innately selfish – tending to focus in on, to be consumed with, what’s
happening in our lives, the good and the bad.

Each one of us is innately an isolationist – tending not to pay attention to what is going on in the lives of others, the good and the bad.

The Lord Jesus wants us to realize that such selfishness and such isolationism is not
acceptable in his eyes. In fact, he got involved in our lives and he died on the cross because of all the times that they didn’t care enough about others to get involved – or more involved in their lives. And now he wants to open their eyes to the fact that we are a spiritual family, a family of faith – to lead us to love, lead us to be involved in each others’ lives.

Jesus’ love for us was action, not emotion. And Jesus’ love for us was sacrificial – giving up his life for us. .
That’s what love is – it’s caring enough – not just to get involved, but – to give up what’s important to you. Jesus says in our text:
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
It’s pretty unlikely that we will ever go that far. But the point the Jesus is making is that true love is not just willing to get involved, but to give up what’s important to you.
For many of us, time is a most precious commodity – never enough of it to do the things that we want to do. If we care enough to get involved with people and genuinely ask them, “How are you,” we’ve also got to care enough to listen – to share in the sorrows, to rejoice in the joys.

One final aspect of Jesus’ love for his disciples demands our attention. Jesus’ disciples
weren’t always the best listeners or the most obedient.

Peter was too proud to listen to Jesus’ loving warning about denying him and marched
right into it. All of the disciples were too excited about the prospect of a glorious earthly empire to pay any attention to Jesus’ repeatedly mentioning that he would suffer and die, and so were caught completely off guard by it.

But did the Lord Jesus get upset with them? Did he stop loving them? Of course not. He
accepted Peter back in that wonderful reinstatement found in John 21 where he tells Peter to feed his lambs and his feet. And even on Ascension Day, when the disciples eagerly asked, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel,” he doesn’t say, “You fools.

Aren’t you ever going to get it straight?” Rather he says, “Don’t worry about that. I’ll soon send you the Holy Spirit and he’ll make you my disciples in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
You see, love is caring enough – not just to get involved, and to give up what’s important to you, but also – to risk disappointment and rejection.

Each one of us was born into a family, maybe big, maybe small. But we all are part of a
bigger family, a family of faith. We need to realize what a blessing it is for us to be a part of this family of faith. The Lord Jesus put us in this family to care for each other:

  • To care enough to get involved.
  • To care enough to give up what important to us.
  • To care enough to even risk rejection and disappointment.

And now to his family of faith he says, “Love each other as I have loved you.” Amen.