Summary: In John 15:9-17, the Lord Jesus talks about four kinds of love: the Father’s love for Christ, Christ’s love for us, the disciples love for Christ, and the disciples love for each other. He tells us of “Love In Four Dimensions.”
LOVE IN FOUR DIMENSIONS
A. HUMOR: Wrong Impressions
1. A well-known minister was invited to speak at a city council meeting on a Friday afternoon, since he was in town to preach all weekend. Knowing he would be repeating some of the same jokes on Sunday, he requested the newspaper reporter in attendance not include them in her article.
2. On Sunday morning there was a nice write-up about the visiting minister, with this unfortunate ending: “The minister told a number of funny stories that we simply could not publish.”
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.” John 15:9-17
1. In John 15:9-17, the Lord Jesus talks about four kinds of love: the Father’s love for Christ, Christ’s love for us, the disciples love for Christ, and the disciples love for each other.
2. The title of this message is “Love In Four Dimensions.”
I. THE FATHER’S LOVE FOR JESUS
Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.”
1. This statement is colossal! It is astounding beyond belief! We know that the love between God the Father and His Only Begotten Son (Gr. “Mono-genes”) is both eternal and infinite in its depth. Its tenderness of feeling and raw emotion are revelations of Scripture. There can be no human love even faintly similar to the love of God to His Son.
2. Yet Jesus tells us that HIS LOVE FOR US is identical to the love the Father has for Him! It’s width must span the universe and surpass it; its intensity must be brighter than the brightest Star; its origin must predate the dawning of Creation! There could never have been a time that Jesus didn’t love us intensely!
3. If it seems certain that the Father loves the Son, then you can accept the same certainty that Jesus loves YOU in the same manner. The Lord’s statement is meant to give us confidence that we are loved. It was Jesus’ love for us that required Him to decide to die for us before the creation of the world.
4. Just as the Father could never banish His Son who loves Him, neither will the Lord Jesus ever turn away from you if you love Him. God says, “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.... Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet My unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor My covenant of peace be removed,” Isa. 49:16; 54:10, NIV. Praise God!
5. It’s an intimate and unlimited love; to this ocean there is neither shore nor bottom. Jesus loves us forever and without limit!
II. JESUS’ LOVE FOR HIS DISCIPLES
“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” John 15:13.
A. THE SPECTACULAR LOVE OF JESUS
1. See the great condescension of Christ: the Father loved Him, who was most worthy, and He loved us, who were least worthy!
2. He proved His love for us by laying down His “psuche,” His individual life for us, dying in our place (v. 13). Greater proof can no one show than this, to lay down their life for their friend. He gave His all, though He knew our bankruptcy, and foresaw the terrible cost to Himself.
3. It’s the highest degree of love, as strong as death. This surpassing love of Christ is beyond all other loves. He not only equaled, but exceeded, the most ardent lovers of all time.
4. Others have laid down their lives for lives of equal value, but rarely do people lay down a valuable life for a worthless one. But the life of Jesus was worth more than the whole human race! Others have laid down their lives for their friends, but Christ laid down his life when we were His enemies, Rom. 5:8,10.