“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15:13)
Jesus calls his disciples to abide in God’s love and to love each other as Jesus has loved them. Then He mentions the supreme act of love: laying down one’s life for a friend. That is exactly what Jesus would do! The disciples did not yet fully understand that He had come to die, but Jesus Himself was fully aware of his mission. He knew there was no other way to provide salvation for his “friends”.
Romans 5 goes one step further, in stressing that we were not even “friends” of Jesus yet when He died for us: “For one
will scarcely die for a righteous person — though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die — but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us … while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:7-8,10)
This text reminds us of the fact that Jesus’ love for us is not based on our being remarkably nice and pleasing in God’s
sight. It is His work of grace, not our effort. If we love God, it is only because He first loved us (1 John 4:19).
Thank you, Jesus, for your endless love for me!
Are you prepared to lay down your life for your friends?