----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Rob Smith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Rob Smith <email@example.com>
Sent: Tuesday, February 14, 2017 7:30 AM
Subject: a higher love
Jesus' last night with his disciples was so dramatic. Judas slipped away from the last supper to betray him and Jesus gave his final teachings. The last things Jesus would say surely were meant to have a lasting impact. The word "love" showed up as a strong theme. Jesus told them how they could love him properly after he had left them in chapter 14: 21 "Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." and verse 23 "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them...." Two conditions, equally weighted but necessarily linked and essential. The disciples were about to be without Jesus for the first time in three years and here Jesus tells them how they can continue to have him even after he's gone. If the conditions are met (having and keeping His word) He promised that both He and the Father would love them and make their home within them. Relationship with God doesn't get any more intimate than that!
In the previous chapter Jesus gave them a special commandment and now, with this promise of His presence, I'm sure it etched its way deep into their hearts. It also carried a wonderful promise.
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
"Love one another...as I have loved you". "Love me by keeping my word".
Simple words with profound impact.