There Is No Greater Love Than The Love Of Jesus
By Steph Nickel
There is no greater love than the love of Jesus. In this post, Steph Beth Nickel shares some more of Jesus’ teachings on the topic of love from the gospel of John chapter 15. In this chapter Jesus commands us to love one another. Stephanie discusses the significance and implications of this statement.
Love One Another
John 15:12-13 (NIV) read this way:
“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”
As we move through chapter 15—and as we study all of Scripture—we must remember that Jesus is our Source and Supply. We are but branches that must abide in the Vine, Jesus, in order to bear the fruit God requires.
So, when He gives us this commandment—that we love one another—He doesn’t expect us to do it on our own. In fact, we can’t love as we should without the work of God’s Spirit in our lives.
Love Is The Greatest Gift
Let’s look at a very familiar passage in 1 Corinthians 13 that describes love from God’s perspective.
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
“Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
“So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
We could easily take an entire week—even longer—examining this passage item by item. But even though we won’t do so, if we’re receptive to our own limitations, we will instantly realize we can’t love this way without help.
Love Is Important
How important is love from the Lord’s perspective? Remember that Jesus summed up the commandments with two imperatives: Love God; love others.
Let’s reread 1 Corinthians 13:1-3: “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
Love is more important than language—even the language of angels. For me, as a writer, this is an important reminder. Developing my skills on an ongoing basis is part of what it means to be a writer. However, if I could become the most skilled writer of all time and won acclaim worldwide, if I didn’t have this God kind of love, all my words would be nothing but a “noisy gong or a clanging symbol.”
This passage goes on to say that love is more important than the ability to understand all mysteries. Even the smartest person on the planet would not claim to have all knowledge, and yet, if it were possible, if they did not have love, the Bible says they are nothing. Wow!
And even if someone has faith that can move mountains, they are nothing without love.
And what about apparent selflessness—giving away all one has and/or giving up one’s life for another—gains them nothing if love isn’t the motivation.
These may seem like harsh realities, but we can remember that God disciplines those He loves, as it says in Hebrews 12:6. Remember, too, that the Vine is the Source of this love.
We will discuss more about this God kind of love in the next post.
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Images courtesy of:
I Love You – G Schouten de Jel
Mommy Love – Shannon Pifko
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