March 28, 2011

What Kind of Love?

John 15:9-17

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”
John 15:13


It was the last night of Jesus’ life. His farewell address in John 14-16 is filled with wonderful words, but none are more central than these. He had already told his disciples that love is the most important thing. It was love that moved him from the throne in heaven to the cross that he would face the next day. It was love that would move these disciples from their holy huddle in the upper room to spread his good news to the ends of the earth.

So he had to make sure they understood the kind of love that he had for them and that they needed to have for each other. There are many kinds of love— love for a pet, love of a car, love for a friend, love of beauty and truth. But there is only one kind of love that can change the world, and that is sacrificial love. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

That’s asking a lot. I will gladly give a friend my time (as long as I’m not too busy), my money (as long as it’s not too much), my attention (if I’m not preoccupied). Our love has so many limits.

How can we possibly love sacrificially to the point of laying down our lives? Only if we keep Christ’s sacrifice in view can we love as he loved us.

Jesus, we praise you today for laying down your life for us, even when we were your enemies. No one has greater love than that. Thank you. Amen.

About the author — Stanley Mast

Beginning in 1971, Rev. Stanley Mast has served churches in Missouri, Colorado, and Michigan. After teaching at Calvin Theological Seminary for a few years, he was the minister of preaching at LaGrave Avenue Christian Reformed Church in Grand Rapids, Michigan, until his retirement in 2012. Stan and his wife, Sharon, enjoy time with their two sons and five grandchildren.

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