“He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” (John 14:21 NKJV)
As Jesus finishes His Last Supper teachings, He reminds His disciples that they can show their love for Him through their obedience to Him. You might ask, “What does it mean to obey Him?” What are His commandments? Love God and love your neighbor. He also made a special point of reminding His disciples to love each other. He came to earth to forgive, and thus set an example for forgiveness. And, much as many might not want to admit, there’s a whole body of teaching about relationships with others in the Old Testament that Jesus endorsed. You can claim to love others and God, but if you don’t live according to God’s standards of justice, those words don’t mean a lot. You can live according to God’s standards of justice, but if you don’t love and forgive others, it’s meaningless. If you love God, though, you’ll seek to balance all the dos and don’ts of the Old Testament with the love and forgiveness of God.
Let’s face it folks, my wife loves me and obeys me. Lest anyone get too upset about those words, I love her and obey her. Which of us leads and which of us obeys depends on the circumstances and the expertise of the person involved. When it comes to God, though, He’s perfect and my goal is to do what He wants all the time. While I fall short of that goal, He also forgives. If He can forgive me, then part of my obedience to His call on my life is to forgive others. We don’t like the idea of obedience today. Many people take that idea out of their wedding vows, for example. We value our freedom and independence. What would happen if we learned to live in dependence on God and committed to obey Him in all we do?
Lord, teach me to live obediently to You while imitating Jesus in loving and forgiving others.