Focal Passages: John 15:9-14
Conceptions and misconceptions concerning love abound. Is love a feeling? How do we know if we love someone or not? Is love forever? Can you love someone but not like them? Is love really unconditional?
The truth is, love is the foundation of any meaningful relationship. But, what is it? Jesus was teaching His disciples about love in John 15. He told them they should remain in His love. He then goes on to explain what love is by providing three essentials.
Contrary to what we’re taught in fairytales and romantic comedies, love is so much more than something we can feel. While our affections are often involved, they are not the only factors. Jesus points us to the loving relationship He has with the Father. Love comes from God, because God is love.
The second essential to a loving relationship is to imitate Christ. Because love comes from God, the love we have for others should imitate the love God has for us. Any type of love we try to muster up will eventually come back void. But as we love one another the way God intends, it brings Him (and us) joy.
The third essential shows us how to love. Jesus said the greatest love goes to extreme lengths – even death. He said this knowing that He was about to exhibit the greatest act of love. With Christ’s sacrifice in mind, we see love involves sacrifice. Jesus did not just love us with His words or His feelings, but displayed His love for us by dying on the cross in our stead. Real love, in any relationship, requires action.