John 14:15 – “If you love me, then obey my commandments.”
Love is a much discussed and often misunderstood subject. I am sure that were I able to ask each person reading this, “Do You Love Jesus?” The answer would be Yes in every case. We would be like Simon Peter, “LORD, you know I love you” and consider it almost offensive that I would ask that question.
The world needs more than our verbal affirmation, they need a demonstration of our Love for Jesus. Love is more than a feeling, a passion, or a word. Love involves action, sacrifice, and commitment. It is in our obedience that the world can see our Love for Jesus. Obedience is better than sacrifice. God is not looking for sacrifices but obedience and, in our obedience, we declare that we Love Him.
The 14th Chapter of John is full of certainties, yet there are an amazing number of times the word “if” is used. In verse two we read that “IF” there had been no place for us in eternity, Jesus would have told us. In verse three we read that “IF” He goes to heaven and He has, He will return for us. In verse seven we are informed that “IF” we know Jesus we know the Father. Then in verse fourteen, we are told that “IF” we ask anything in the name of Jesus it will be done.
The Word IF in this passage is a very serious word. It goes to the root of the matter. It deals with the heart of man. In the natural medical doctors inform us that diseases of the heart are profoundly serious and nothing to be scoffed at. Solomon instructed us to “keep our hearts diligently” because out of the heart come the issues of life. If the mainspring of a watch fails, the watch will not work properly.
I would contend that LOVE comes before obedience. A heart that is at enmity with God cannot become acceptable by acts of piety alone. Jesus said, “IF you love Me…” If is the keyword and love is the objective. I am told that among some primitive tribes they kill sacrifices to prophesy future events from the entrails of those animals. The worst report or situation would be that the priest found a small or diseased heart. The heart is important naturally and spiritually.
It is important to remember that Love is the reason for our obedience, not fear. It is because of our Love for God that we earnestly seek to follow His directions and keep His commandments. We desire to please Him. We demonstrate our Love through our obedience.
The test proposed in John 14:15 is a Judicious Test. He said, “IF you love Me…” There is no suggestion of following a Lawless Liberty. There are commandments that believers are expected and commanded to obey. Failure to embrace that reality would be to suggest that sin is unimportant and lacks destructive power. Jesus did not say, “As long as you love me, I do not care what you do.”
The question immediately arises, Why Did Jesus Give Us This Test? It is for us to prove to us that we Love Him. He already knows whether we do or not, but it defeats the lies of hell and assures us that we Love Him with our Whole Heart! Additionally, it proves to the world that Jesus Lives and Lives in our Hearts. We are changed through the Love and Grace of God. We are New Creations and Born Again!
True Love Will Endure the Test. The Revised Version translates it, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.” One of the strongest pieces of evidence that a child loves his/her parents is that they willingly without hesitation, gainsaying, murmuring, or complaining do what the parent requires.
That Love for Jesus leads us to take up our Cross and follow Him. That Love leads us and motivates us to do all of His will. That Love enables us to love one another, to deny ourselves, and to follow Him through good reports and bad. Our true attachment is to Jesus and because we Love Him, we Obey Him.
We are taught some powerful things about Love.
It is Patient (suffers long), Kind (in both word and deed), Generous (devoid of jealousy or envy), Humble (no pretense, airs, or pomp), Courteous (never rude and always polite), Unselfish (never seeking revenge but restoration), Good Tempered (not easily irritated or resentful), Righteous (hates sin), and Sincere (honest, not hypocritical).
If we Love Jesus, we seek to know what His commandments are, and our heart’s desire is to keep them. We determine that we are going to live according to the convictions of our hearts established and formed by His Word. We pay attention to every command and seek to understand its concern and application in our lives.
Our Love for Jesus will be expressed in every area of our lives not just in our words. It is easy to say, “I Love You” but demonstrated Love is seen in action. That is reflected at our job, in our home, at school, at church, and even on a date.
Jesus said, “IF you love Me keep My commandments.” The question we should ask ourselves is, Do We? How do we know we do and how can the world know we do?
God bless you as you enjoy this day in Jesus!