For our Friday Focus today, we’re going to look at one verse in our study of the fourteenth chapter of John:
This verse is so straight forward, that even in multiple English translations, it doesn’t change.
IF you love ME…YOU WILL obey what I command or my commandments.
This got me thinking of a song my husband and I loved from the movie “Fiddler on the Roof,” which of course, I’m sharing at the bottom of this post, so you’ll have the full affect of my thoughts.
In her response to her husband’s question, Golda lists all the things she’s “done” for her husband: milked his cow, raised his children, cleaned his house, etc. It was in her actions that she realized when asked that she did love her husband after twenty-five years together.
Jesus made it just as simple for his disciples.
What will show their love for God? Their obedience to the things that please him.
If you’re asking what the commands of Jesus are, you don’t have to look far to find the answer. We’ve actually already talked about it in the previous chapter:
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. (John 13:34-35)
Again, sounds simple enough. Then why do we make following Christ so hard? Because just like the Pharisees of his day and of the days after Moses, we pile extras onto the simple commands of God.
We say things like:
- If you love Christ, you’ll be in church every Sunday.
- If you love Christ, you will not miss a Bible study or prayer meeting.
- If you love Christ, you will read your Bible EVERY morning at 5 a.m.
- If you love Christ, you will pray for a solid hour.
- If you love Christ, you will never make a mistake.
- If you love Christ….well, I think you get the picture.
All he said was, if you love me, you’ll obey what I command.
John, the “beloved disciple” got it. He, after all, stuck to Jesus like glue during his three years of training. He watched and listened and soaked it all up. I think that’s why he was so able to repeat his Master’s words so well and add some extra words of comfort. See if you catch them here:
Jesus is not asking his disciples anything hard, and John confirms that: “his commands are not burdensome.” He gives his Spirit to help us to love. This is the same Spirit that in concert with the Father, sent the Son to save the world “while we were still sinners.” If God can love us, as broken and sinful as we are, then we can love “sinners saved by grace” to show that we love God.
Do you love Jesus? Show it by your love, for that is what he commands.
Grace and Peace