If you love me…

Jesus said in John 14:15: “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” The New Testament its original Greek used two different words that are translated love in our English bibles. The first is agapaho  which is a higher love in a moral sense, such as we feel for God. The second is phileo, which is to have an affection for in the more personal sense or the love that we might have for the fellow human beings in our life (brotherly love). In this passage the higher form of the word is used, denoting that Jesus wants us to love Him in the higher sense that we love God in that we will revere and worship Him as well as keep His commandments.

Still Jesus wants us to love him in both senses. In John 21:15-17 Jesus asked Peter 3 times if He loves Him. It is interesting to note that in two of the three times He asks him the Greek word phileo is found, while in the third (which is actually the first time He asked him), the word agapaho is used. This lets us know that Jesus wanted Peter to love Him both as a brother with kindly affectionate love and as God, someone to revere and worship. Not that agapaho is reserved for love of God only as we are to love each other in a higher, moral sense as well. ( Mark 12:31).

In the same way Jesus wants us to love Him as a brother who was tempted in all points, just as we are daily, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15) as well as love Him as we love God, the Father. In Matthew 12:50, He said: “For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.” Jesus wants us all who are His disciples within the church to love each other as family, with Him as our head and older and infinitely wiser  brother.

This doesn’t mean we can treat Him as an equal  since he also wants us to, even demands that, we love Him, worship Him and revere Him as we do God by keeping the commandments that He has given us. Though we are to feel this affectionate and brotherly love toward Him, we must always remember who He is and keep His commandments.

When one is in the military, he or she is subject to the rules and must obey those who are ranked higher. There is no love involved in this relationship, but one must do the superiors will or suffer dire consequences. It is not the same when we keep the commandments of Jesus and God.

Although we will ultimately suffer dire consequences if we do not keep the commandments of Jesus and do God’s will, we are to obey Him because we love and want to serve Him and not to save ourselves only. God (and Jesus) wants us to serve them because we love them and not just to avoid the consequences of doing otherwise.

So let’s “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30) And therefore keep His commandments that we may live long and prosper on the earth (Psalms 1) and be rewarded with heaven in the next life, where we will live forever with God and the Son, whom we love, worship and adore as no other.

May God bless and keep you until next time.

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