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13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.


Verse 13 conveys the standard of love Jesus’ disciples are to have for one another. Jesus gave His life for His friends, and His disciples are to follow the same pattern. The apostles did not fully understand His point because He had not been crucified yet.

13 Greater love has no one than this,

The highest love one can have for others is to give oneself for them.

than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

The most an individual can do for his friends is to die for them. This is the level of love believers are to possess for others.


The standard for love among disciples is self-sacrificing love.


Jesus’ death for us on the cross is the ultimate standard of love. He loves His followers with superlative love. There is a self-sacrificing nature to the love of Christ for His disciples. Anything other than sacrificial love is a lesser love. Sacrificial love for others is the supreme test of genuine love.

Jesus gave everything; He gave Himself to die on the cross for others (Ro 5:10). He could not have given a greater proof of His love for us. Believers should follow Christ’s example of supreme love for others (1 Jn 3:16, 18). Continued love for fellow believers with the love of Jesus will result in the same kind of sacrifice He made—to give His life for others.