Summary: We have many misconceptions about what real love for Jesus is. But I trust that these words from the mouth of our Lord Himself will make us wise unto salvation. Christian love is demonstrated as a believer keeps or obeys the Lord’s words.
This passage concerning our love for Christ is bound before and aft with teachings concerning the Holy Spirit. There is significant reason for this. We are to obey Christ’s word and live for Him. In fact, our love for Christ is declared in our revealing Him through our life to the world (CIT). There is no way that one can truly disclose Christ to the world without living in power of the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit of Truth confirms to us whom our Father is and where our home is. The Helper teaches us and brings to our remembrance what we have need of. The Holy Spirit abides within the believer so that they have the enabling needed to prove their love for Jesus. For Christ has said, “If you love Me you will keep My commandment.” What is impossible with man is possible with God. Those that demonstrate their love for Christ find Christ disclosing Himself to them.
I. LOVE FOR CHRIST DISPLAYED, 21.
II. LOVE’S DISCLOSURE, 22.
III. LOVE’S DWELLING PLACE, 23-24.
First, Our LOVE FOR CHRIST DISPLAYED, 21.
The entire line of promises from verse 15 on rest on the condition “If you love Me.” We have many misconceptions about what real love for Jesus is. But I trust that these words from the mouth of our Lord Himself will make us wise unto salvation. Christian love is manifested as a believer keeps or obeys the Lord’s words as verse 21 states. “He who has My commandments and keep them, he it is who loves Me; and he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”
The man who loves Christ is the one who “has” His commandments and who “keeps” them. The meaning appears to be to make the commandments one’s own, by taking them into and making them part of one’s inner being.
To have or possess the commandments one must have a firm intellectual grasp of their content. This comes through hearing them, reading them, meditating on them, studying them and memorizing them.
But simply knowing the commandments is not proof of love, one must also obey them. Keeping the commandments means to observe them in daily life. Obedience is the mark of true love and the proof of genuine discipleship. Love is demonstrated by obedience and obedience is the outgrowth of love.
What Jesus is saying is that love for Him is not simply a thing of words. Love is more than lovely words; it is commitment and conduct If love is real it is shown in deeds. The lover keeps the commandments of the loved one. If you love Christ, then prove it by obeying what He says in His Word.
Notice also that the Father is not indifferent about the attitude men take to the Son. Love calls for love. And when love is returned it calls forth more love. Deep calls unto deep.
Not only does the Father’s love precede our love (1 Jn. 4:19) but it will also follow our returning of love to Him. When we stop running from God and accept His love for us it creates within us the eager desire to keep Christ’s commands. His love then rewards us for keeping them by loving us! What a beautiful arrangement!
Oh what gracious blessings are given to those who prove their love for the Son by obeying His commandments. He gives them the most blessed of all rewards. He gives them intimate knowledge, relationship and fellowship with the One they love. This intelligent and purposeful love is made manifest by the Spirit (Who was yet to be revealed).
What a sparking crown He gives those who give their own poor rusting crown to Him.
II. LOVE’S DISCLOSURE (22).
First Christ says we prove our love for Him when we do what He has asked us to do. And if we love Him He will love us and disclose Himself to us. But what about the multitudes that don’t love Him? So Judas asks that question. Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, what then has happened that you are going to disclose Yourself to us and not to the world?”
This question is from Judas, who is expressly distinguished from Iscariot. (He was probably the half brother of Jesus, the brother of James Lk. 6:16, Acts 1:13). He expresses the surprise and perplexity of the whole group.
How wonderful it is that the divine Teacher allows Himself to be interrupted to entertain our questions. Yet the questions are not allowed to change the subject but are made to blend in with what He is teaching.
Judas frame of reference was that Christ had been disclosing Himself through public teachings, miracle working, healing, casting out demons and confrontation with the Pharisees. Would He not continue so outwardly disclosing Himself? And beyond that would He not reveal Himself as Who He is to the whole world that they might understand that He is the Messiah?