By Marni Montanez
New Living Translation (NLT)
21. Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them."
There are two kinds of love mentioned in the new testament which describes the interaction in our relationships; These loves are Phileo and Agape.
Agape love is a selfless love of one person for another without sexual implications (especially love that is spiritual in nature). This is the love that caused Jesus to die on the cross for the world.
Phileo love is an emotional warmth and tender affection toward a friend or family member. It involves closeness, bonding, and mutual sharing in a relationship. It is companionship, or brotherly love.
In John 15:15 when Jesus was talking to the apostles, He said He no longer called them servants, but now He called them friends, because there was a closeness that developed in the time they were with Him on earth.
As they walked with Jesus something in their relationship with Him changed and also with each other. Their relationship became intimate and close. Jesus called the apostles friends because on their journey they formed a bond that could not have happened had they not walked with Him.
What Jesus felt for them before was Agape love, and even though He completely accepted them and loved them without reservation, intimacy was missing. They achieved that intimacy during times of trial and through good and bad times together. There is a connection between people that happens when they go through certain things together and understand the inside joke no one else gets or they put their arm around one another to comfort and support each other during troubled seasons.
After the bond was created, the apostles began obeying Jesus out of a trust and love for Him that had become intimate; a love that acknowledged a friendship. There is respect in this kind of obedience.
Once the apostles shifted into obeying God out of phileo love they stepped into the Agape love that God already had for them. Now their love was unconditional.
This verse points out that in obedience there is love and the obedience coming from their heart was evident of their love for God because they desired to please Him. It was a relationship out of love no longer as servants and no longer out of a fearful place.
And now God who already loves with all abandon could show them the friendship love He always wanted with them and now with us. Now He can trust that we are walking with Him and obeying Him out of a pure genuine love that brings intimate relationship.
Challenge: Get to know God through His word, through meditation and through your silent listening times and practice being obedient. Your whole relationship with God will blossom and grow.