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15If you love Me, keep My commandments.


Jesus now began to emphasize love for Himself. The word “love” occurs eight times in verses 15 to 24. This love is not sentimental love but a love of respect for another.

15If you love Me,

There is a condition for loving Jesus. The “if” here controls verses 15 through 17. Love is a condition that indicates whether or not a person applies Jesus’ precepts to himself or herself.

keep My commandments [precepts].

Jesus’ “commandments” have to do with His entire teaching but also indicate the individual requirements of His precepts. The apostles were to show their love for Jesus by applying His words to their experience (Jn 14:21, 23; 15:14). They were to “keep” or respond to the entire corpus of His teaching.


Application of the entire corpus of Jesus’ precepts is a test of loving Him.


Love precedes response to Jesus. Principle always precedes application. In our verse, love precedes response to Jesus’ precepts. There is a clear order to how the believer relates to God.

Love for Jesus should be the primary motive for what we do. We evidence this by responding to His will (1 Jn 3:22). Love has a practical impact. Response to the entire corpus of Jesus’ precepts is fundamentally one of love for Him. There is a necessary correlation between love for Christ and our response to His will.

Earlier in John Jesus focused on loving one another as He loved them (Jn 13:34, 35), but here in John 14:15 His emphasis was continual love for Him personally. Putting the body of Jesus’ principles into our lives is an indication of our love for Jesus (1 Jn 5:2-3).

Love, then, precedes action. There is an undeniable connection between love for Christ and taking to oneself what He requests. Love for Him is to respond to Him (1 Jn 5:2).