Today’s Gospel: John 14:21-26
“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me…Whoever does not love me does not keep my words”
Jesus ties love and obedience tightly together. Love is much more than warm, affectionate feelings. Love is active. If you love the Lord, you obey the commandments. Loving our Lord means work.
Here, Jesus addresses one of our favorite arguments as Christians. Salvation by faith or works? We like to argue about it because we know that on the one hand there are commandments to good works, and on the other hand, nothing we can possibly do can merit salvation. The truth lies in a combination of both. Here, our loving Lord explains: the question doesn’t make sense. The dichotomy doesn’t make sense. Obedience to the commandments and loving the Lord cannot be considered separately.
“Whoever has my commandments and observes them is the one who loves me.
Whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”
The one who loves Jesus obeys and is loved and Jesus reveals himself to him. The gift of faith is given to the one who loves and is obedient.
It does not say that if you love you will want to obey, or if you love you will feel a sort of obligation to try to obey. It says the one who observes the commandments is the one who loves. Love for our Lord and obedience to Him are fundamentally unified. You cannot have one and not the other.
How can I show love and obedience to God’s commandments today?
Jesus, my Lord, I want to be the one who loves you; help me to serve you obediently. Inhabit my heart. Teach me what it means to love.
Copyright 2017 Beth Hersom