← Back to Lenten Reflections
March 12, 2021
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
To inspire us to ever higher acts of love for one another, Jesus reminds us that the greatest expression of love is that one person should lay down one’s life for a friend. This, of course, is what Jesus has done for us. But how can Jesus tell us that we are his friends when the Apostle Paul makes clear that our sin renders us enemies of God (Romans 5.10)? Here lies the wonder of the gospel. Even though our minds were hostile toward God (Romans 8.7), Jesus gave his life for us to transform enemies into, not merely servants, but friends. Jesus blots out our sin and gives us the closest possible intimacy with himself. We are his friends. Jesus has not withheld anything from us that he has heard from the Father.
How should we respond to such self-sacrificial love? The only adequate response is to allow such love to flow through us to one another. In this way, Jesus bears much fruit in and through us - fruit that will last.
How can Jesus’ love for you inspire you to greater acts of love for your brothers and sisters in Christ?