John 14-15. Meditation

 14.16 If you love me, you will obey what I command.
15.10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love.
15. 12 Love each other as I have loved you.

In these three sentences, there can be seen the whole way from our love, imperfect as it is, to His all-embracing and perfect Love.

‘If you love me…’

The one who is close to perfection provokes admiration, sometimes adoration in the hearts of human beings. This can lead to a sense of deep attachment, and that is probably what most of Christ’s desciples felt for Him at the beginning of His ministry, before He revealed Himself and His teaching to them to the full. But this is not yet the Love Jesus speaks of.

‘…you will obey what I command’.

Love for the perfect being is extremely demanding. It urges a person to correspond to the will and expectations of the beloved one. So, this kind of love implies obedience. This is the Love that Jesus bears for His Father. If his desciples strive to remain in His love, there is no way to it but through a loving obedience to Him – the perfect creature, and through Him – to the Lord.

But there is another ‘side’ to Jesus’s Love.

‘Love each other as I have loved you.’

It is the first time I’ve noticed that the feeling of Jesus to the perfect and the imperfect beings are referred to by one and the same word. Thus, His Love is a powerful unifying force. It strives to unite the perfect and the imperfect ones by casting off all the imperfections which stand in the way of this union.

‘Love each other as I have loved you.’

This is the Love for imperfect creatures, that Jesus bears for His desciples and that they themselves should bear for each other and for all human beings. This Love does not depend on the amount of good or bad qualities of the beloved ones – it is endless and cannot be limited even by a physical death. It is beyond human understanding, as humans are likely to ‘love somebody for something’. This Love seeks the perfection of the world, its conversion to God.

This Love has no cause and no explanation, like God himself: it just exists. It is the source of life, the vine, to which we are attached from the very beginning as ‘branches’. What we are to do is to ‘remain’ (note how many times this word is repeated in the passage!) in this Love, which means the same as to ‘remain’ in this life, initiated by and fully belonging to God.

    If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love.

So this is the way: loving obedience to the perfect God and sharing his Love to the imperfect world, as He has commanded. However different these two ‘types of Love’ may seem at first glance, the very fact that they are referred to by the same word, seems to indicate that this difference is a sign of the corrupt world and it is to be overcome, so that the perfect Love could rule over the perfect universe.

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