by: Carole L. Haines
12 “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that one 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 slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you. (John 15:12-15 NASB)
I find it interesting in the text where Jesus calls us His friends, that He begins with commanding us to love one another as He has loved us. He doesn’t want us to love one another with our human ability to love. He wants us to love one another as He has loved us. Jesus then proceeds to share with us what His love looks like. His love is the Greater love, that lays down His life for His friends.
I used to think this just meant that we would be willing to die for our friends, but it goes way beyond that. In the original Greek, it means to lay it aside, to bend down, to serve. We get the sense that it is to stop living for ourselves and to live to care for others. Jesus tells us that we are His friends if we do what He commands us. The commandment given here is to love one another as He loves us. In this context there are two different Greek words for love one is Agapeo, the other is Agape.
Agapeo is the verb form, the active form. It is love in action.
Agape is the Noun form, and it means:
affection, good will, love, benevolence, brotherly love.
The Noun form portrays how we feel, but the Verb form dictates what we do. Jesus repeats the active word for love several times in this passage on friendship. He wants us to actively love one another as He actively loves us. The Noun form is only used in the phrase, “Greater love…” When Jesus commands us to love one another, it has nothing to do with how we feel about one another. Let’s face it, we are not going to like everybody in the Body of Christ. There are personality issues, some types naturally hit it off, others not so much. But The love He is calling us to is supernatural, Holy Spirit enabled love.
We are the friend of Christ when we do what He commands us to do. In this passage, the only command mentioned, and it is mentioned twice, is to love One another. Jesus calls us His friends, but says it has a stipulation, we must love one another in Him, by Him and for Him. Have a Blessed Day.