This happens when you love Jesus
“If you love me,” Jesus says in John 14:15, “obey my commandments.”
The word ‘if’ makes it clear this is no mandate. Jesus always gives a choice, an option.
Maybe you’re all in when it comes to loving Jesus. Maybe you’re not. Maybe there’s a hesitation, reservation, question, doubt, uncertainty, resistance, shadow or even an all-out denial. “No.”
But what if…
What if even more of us love Jesus? What if even more of us hear and respond to this call, opportunity, or what some call a challenge?
We don’t have to imagine what will happen. We can see it. We can be it.
This is not just exciting. This is thrilling. Awesome is in there, too.
I get that some have a reservation. If this is you, no worries. Just love. Love big. Love beyond any circle you feel you or someone else has placed around you.
You know—or you can at least imagine—what happens when you love beyond any circle or limit. The outcome of this love may not make the national news, but even if it is on a small scale, even if it’s just one smile for one moment, oh, it’s good.
Some may read John 14:15 and think this love Jesus is speaking about is conditional. It’s an if/then. There can be a hold up or a full stop on the phrase, “obey my commandments.”
“This sounds like rules, and I don’t do rules—especially when it comes to love.”
But here in the Gospel of John, Jesus commands us to love (John 13:34).
Yes, Jesus commands us to love.
Isn’t that refreshing?
Maybe this would help some if they heard Jesus say, “If you love me, then love.”
Jesus isn’t saying, “love just because.” He makes it clear we are to love through Him.
Humanitarianism holds the ideal that we can love for the sake of love. This is certainly sweet, optimistic and heartwarming. A dozen chart-topping songs about how we, as people, can love can certainly present hope. And when we love? Wow, this is such a beautiful thing.
But loving through Jesus is different. This love to be powerful, persuasive, profound and purposeful. Loving through Jesus does more than loving as a cause or a generality, as if love beyond oneself is a just a right and good thing to do.
Loving through Jesus is more. Loving through Jesus presents a specific network, opportunity, and goal. The ideal of Christianity is spectacular. It’s practice at times, however, is not. Christians are imperfect and prone to making mistakes—sometimes big mistakes. But can’t we own and work from mistakes? Can’t we work with a radically inclusive, death-to-life leader who calls us to love beyond any block, boundary or border we impose?
Loving through Jesus is limitless. In fact, after Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love me, obey my commandments,” he adds more. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you (John 16-17, NLT).”
Humanitarianism works. Save whales. Clean oceans. Protect children. Plant community gardens.
But Christianity when sought and received? This is when the Holy Spirit lives with you now and later will be in you.
And this? Whoa! This makes whale saving, ocean cleaning, child advocating and communities growing together so much better.