The Greater Love (Part One)

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

John 15:12 – This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

This commandment of Jesus was first given back in the Gospel of John chapter 13:34-35, when he called it “the new commandment.” This new commandment is to love in a specific way, “as I have loved you.” Coming to know Jesus from the Scriptures is how we learn how he loved, for his love was and still is the love of God, and it is available today to love as Jesus loved.

John 15:13 – Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Jesus in explaining who has the love of God says “greater love hath no man.” The word “man” is the Greek word for “one,” for “no one” other than Jesus at this time in the Gospel of John had this greater love to apply and enjoy. This is why he said “But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you” (John 5:42). Then, Jesus says that it would take this greater love in order for him to lay down his life for his friends. Have you ever considered yourself as a friend of Jesus? Well he considers himself your friend! This greater love that Jesus was referring to is what is now available from God because of the sacrifice of Jesus laying down his life for us.

John 13:37-38:
-37: Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake.
-38: Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.

Peter was willing, he considered the task of dying for Jesus, yet Jesus knew that even with all the good intentions of Peter to want to help, if it meant dying, Peter would never be able to carry it through. Human (man’s own) love never really allows one to make that ultimate sacrifice for others. In war, of course it is a different story, for it is kill or be killed. However, Jesus obviously knew that Peter would not be able to lay down his life and would even deny him. No one had the spiritual love to carry out God’s will for the redemption of humanity other than Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12). Today, because of the ultimate sacrifice, crucifixion, and torture that Jesus endured we now have every right into all the love of God that Jesus displayed. I would like to close out this Bible byte by quoting from the Epistle of Romans.

Romans 5:6-8:
-6:  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
-7:  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
-8:  But God {who was in Christ, II Corinthians 5:19} commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus Loves You!

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

John 13:34:
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.

The word new is an enlightening word, it not only means brand new but also new in the sense of exchanging and replacing that which came before, and what came before were hundreds and hundreds of Old Testament laws and commandments.

We (as well as they in Old Testament times) could not love as Jesus loved until he came and first demonstrated his love (in the first century); this is why when Jesus spoke the verse above ― this was new and different from what was written in the Old Testament. But now Jesus gave us a new commandment that would fulfill hundreds of Old Testament laws and commandments, and one only needs to exchange the old for the new to enjoy the newness that Jesus gave. Yes, to love God (Deuteronomy 6:5), and your neighbor as yourself (Leviticus 19:18) is written in the Old Testament, but Jesus gave us the epitome of primo love with which to reach out and it is exciting to love as he loves ― you!

Jesus said, A new commandment I give unto you.

Jesus gave ― so we could know his utmost love for us!

Jesus gave ― so we could receive and presently enjoy his love for us!

Jesus gave ― so we could then experience his love for us by loving one another as I have loved you!

Jesus demonstrated this new commandment by loving people, including you and me. When we practice loving others, our neighbors, as Jesus loves us, then a whole new dimension of love’s potential and reward opens up to us because when we are loving others with the love of Christ, we will come to know and experience “the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19) in our lives.

When we accept Jesus’ love and then love one another with his love, we will effortlessly begin walking in the true splendor of the love of our Savior, and we will recognize that there is no law and no commandment that we can break, which is the true exquisiteness of his love. Take for instance the phrase, “Thou shalt not kill,” when this new love – Jesus’ love, is received and applied in our lives – then it becomes totally impossible to break this (or any other) Old Testament law as Romans 13:10 reveals, “Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

When we utilize Jesus’ love, we then will be fulfilling all of the laws and commandments without compulsion.

So today, I encourage you to allow the abundance of Jesus’ love for you – into your heart – for then you will have his love that is essential to appreciating and thoroughly enjoying Jesus’ love for you.

John 15:9 and 12:
-9: As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
-12: This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

Romans 13:8:
Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.