#DailyDevotion If You Love Me Keep, Observe, Guard, Hold Onto, Listen To My Commandments
John 1415“If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Comforter to be with you forever. 17He is the Spirit of truth, Whom the world cannot receive, because it doesn’t see or know Him. You know Him, because He lives with you and will be in you.
If you love me…well with what kind of love? What does it mean to love Jesus? The word for love here, as in most of the New Testament, is “agape” which you have probably seen before. It wasn’t used in Greek very much by Greek speakers in John’s day. People usual talked about “eros” or “philos.” But the love of God towards us and the love God asks us to show towards him in response is “agape.” This sort of love is self-sacrificing. It thinks about the other more than it thinks of the self. It honors the other, treats the other better, and sacrifices the lover for the sake of the beloved. This is the sort of love God the Father has shown us in Jesus as he offers his son Jesus to be the sacrifice for our sins. Jesus in turns asks us to love him and to love one another with this love. We can only love Jesus, the Father and one another when we belied God has loved us first with this love.
Jesus tells his disciples, tells us if we love him we will keep his commandments. “Tereo” is the word for keep. It can mean to do, observe, watch, hold on to, reserve, guard. We generally, particularly when we hear the word commandments, go straight to “do.” In terms of specific commandments you would probably be correct. But in the Gospels and even in Paul commandments is more often than not the equivalent of the Hebrew Torah often translated Law. But Torah has a much more expansive meaning also. It means instruction. So if we this passage, Mat 28:20 “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Jesus means here all that he has taught the disciples.
Elsewhere in the Gospel of John Jesus says, Joh 8:51 “Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” This is similar to what he said earlier, John524“I tell you the truth, if you listen to what I say and believe Him Who sent Me, you have everlasting life, and you will not be judged, but you have come from death to life” In verse fifty-one keeps is equivalent to holding, believing, listening to Jesus. Before we ever get around to doing the commandments or instruction we have to believe the one who speaks it, to trust him. We must also hold onto them, keep them as something very precious. We should consider them as life itself, our greatest possession and make sure no one ever steals them away from us.
What are the commandments Jesus wants us to keep? 1Jn 3:23 “And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.” (ESV). These two things, trusting in Jesus and loving neighbor are the Old Testament equivalent to Luke 1027“Love the Lord your God with all your heart…and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” We should note both in John 14 and 1 John 3:24 the Holy Spirit, the Comforter is given without whom we cannot keep, do, observe or anything else of Jesus. Just as Jesus helped his disciples to do these things while with them, the Holy Spirit helps us to love Jesus and keep all he has given us.
Heavenly Father, always give us your Holy Spirit that we may love your Son Jesus Christ and do all he has commanded us and keep inviolate all his teachings. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.