John: Love

John 14:1–31

Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.

Everybody wants to love Jesus. All the cool kids do it. At least, they say they do. But love is a tricky thing. Maybe no so much “tricky.” Maybe fuzzy is a better word. Because what do we mean when we say the word “love”?

We may have gone so far as to say that what we mean with this word is: I want you to associate me with this object. Kinda like the posters you put on your bedroom wall when you were a teenager. Or the things you put on your Facebook timeline.

I love video games.

I love Kentucky basketball.

I love eating out at my favorite burger joint.

I love my boyfriend.

I love my grandma.

I love Jesus.

But what we really mean is, I want you to identify me with these interests or recognize that I’m not alone. If this is love, it’s all about me and my image.

This is not the love Jesus talks about here.

According to Jesus, love is intricately connected to doing what he says. Obedience. Jesus gives “love” a pretty narrow definition. Love is doing what Jesus asks.

What kind of person expresses love in a relationship but refuses to participate in the relationship? I don’t get tell my wife I love her and refuse to help out with dinner if she asks or take out the trash or clean up after myself. It’s preposterous to boast how great my doctor is when I don’t fill the prescriptions he gives me.

In other words, “love” doesn’t mean we can slap a Jesus bumper sticker on our identity and call it good.

Love is listening. Love is doing. Love is paying attention. Love is action.

What about you? What do you see?


About peterjwhite

I am a pastor to college students in Tulsa, OK.
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