Day 15: How Jesus Loved - Part One
“Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.” John 15:13-14
Jesus said there was no greater love than to lay down your life for your friends, so I’m going to go ahead and take Him at His Word. I’ve believed that Jesus laid His life down for me since becoming a Christian decades ago. What I didn’t see back then was that He laid down His life every single day, not just when He let them nail Him to a cross.
And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” Luke 2:49
Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner.” John 5:19
Jesus, as a choice of His own will, not only allowed Himself to be crucified, but lived His entire life to serve God. He didn’t do anything unless it was what the Father wanted Him to do. Before you start thinking “Yeah, but that’s Jesus! He’s God, you know!” Yeah, I know. But the Bible also says that He laid all of that down when He came to live here among us in the flesh.
“But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.” Philippians 2:7
That phrase “no reputation” in the Greek actually means “to empty” or “make empty” (and the same Greek word is used for “made” in that verse as well).
When Jesus cast out demons, turned water into wine, and healed the sick, He did it as a human being. He was able to do all of it because the Holy Spirit had come upon Him, empowering Him (see Matthew 3:13-17). After Jesus ascended into heaven, He sent The Comforter—the Holy Spirit—to empower us too (John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7; Acts 1:8; 1 John 4:13)!
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12
If that doesn’t toss that “Yeah, but that was Jesus” line out the window for you, I don’t know what will! If He had just said “The works that I do he will do also” I’d have been convinced. But He took it one giant leap further by saying that we would do even greater works! Hello!
Now let’s backtrack a bit to our main verse for the day. Jesus said that someone who really loves will lay down their lives for their friends. Then He follows that up by telling us that we are His friends if we do whatever He says—if we make the choice to lay down our lives to do what He tells us to do. When we do what He says, it’s proof that we love Him. Isn’t that awesome?
If there’s some part of your brain telling you that serving the Lord is drudgery, rebuke it. Tomorrow we’re going to see how that is a total lie. Before then, I want you to read some of the Gospel accounts of Jesus. Try to pick out any times when Jesus seemed depressed because He’d been serving God so hard.