Love Me, Love Me Not
May 16, 2022
He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me. These things I have spoken to you while being present with you (John 14:24-25).
As children we use to play ‘She loves me, she loves me not’ with the petals of a flower. We would pluck a petal and say, ‘She loves me’, then pluck another petal and say, ‘She loves me not’. We would continue to do this until the last petal plucked would ‘confirm’ whether or not ‘She loves me’. Of course that was a silly game based on chance, and it really confirmed nothing with regard to another person’s affection.
Jesus does not play such games with His disciples then or now. And we do not play such games with Him. If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me (John 14:23-24). There is no guessing or chance with regard to our love for Jesus and His love for us. There is no gray area, no straddling the fence, no 'middle of the road'. He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad (Matthew 12:30).
Again, to ‘keep’ His words is to obey His words. Many people read or hear the teachings of Jesus and regard them as high ethical, moral teachings that are worthy of our consideration. But ‘the proof is in the pudding’, as my mother would say. Jesus is not concerned with our opinion about His words, He is concerned with our obedience to His words. Our willful obedience proves our genuine love. Jesus said to the rich young man (Mark 10:21), Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me. That’s genuine love for Jesus - deny yourself and follow Him - period.
He then adds divine weight to His words by adding, and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. If Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ of God (and He is), then what He did and all that He said has the stamp of approval of God the Father. If that were not so, His crucifixion would not have atoned for our sin, nor would He have been resurrected from the grave - He would not have lived a life of perfect, sinless obedience that qualified Him to be the perfect, sinless sacrifice for sin. That the Father approved the His words was stated at His transfiguration in the presence of Peter, James, and John (Matthew 17:5), While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!" We would do well to heed the words of the Father and the Son today as the disciples did then because Jesus said (John 6:63), The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. Amen.