The Love Pro
Bible Reading: John 15:9-13
I command you to love each other in the same way that I love you. John 15:12
Here’s a really tough question to vote on. Suppose you want to be a world-whipping soccer player. Who would you rather spend time with: (a) a professional horse-racing jockey? (b) a professional couch potato? or (c) a professional soccer player?
You chose (c), right? Of course. The most excellent way to sharpen your soccer skills would be to spend time with the person who plays your sport to the highest level. It wouldn’t make sense for you to study the example of anyone but a pro.
Many people claim to be experts on love. But if we really want to learn how to love, we’ve got to get close to the person who loved best. Jesus is “the love pro.” He lived a perfect life of love here on earth, and when we follow his example we can’t go wrong. So the important question is this: “How did Jesus love?”
You can’t help but notice that Jesus’ love is sacrificial. He gave of himself in a thousand everyday ways. And his giving never stopped.
After Jesus’ cousin John the Baptist was killed by an evil ruler, for example, Jesus longed for some time alone. Yet when the crowds followed him, he didn’t shoo them away. Out of compassion he stayed and ministered to them. He taught them, healed them, even fed a mob of more than five thousand men (see Matthew 14:13-21).
Just before Jesus was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, he was still giving, He healed the ear of one of the men who had come to arrest him. And in this agonizing and sorrowful time, Jesus took care to teach his disciples until the very end (see Matthew 26:50-54).
Jesus’ death on the cross for us was the ultimate example of sacrificial love. As Jesus said, “The greatest love is shown when people lay down their lives for then friends” (John 15:13). Jesus gave his life willingly to rescue us, his people, from having to pay the price of our own sin—a price we could never have paid.
Amazingly, Jesus commanded us to love others in the same way he loves us. Most of us won’t ever be in a position where we need to give up our life for our friends. But we can be sure God will put us in places where we will be asked to sacrifice our time, money, energy, comfort, and convenience.
It’s not easy to love like “the love pro,” but it’s what real love is all about!
TALK: What does sacrificial love mean? How can you show it to a friend or family member this week?
PRAY: Lord Jesus, thanks for loving us at all costs. Please help us love others like you do.
ACT: Think of a way you can imitate Jesus’ sacrificial love today. And do it!