10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
In the previous verse Jesus challenged His followers to abide in His love. Now He shows how they can do that.
10 If you keep My commandments [behests, precepts, injunctions, instructions],
Previously Jesus said that loving Him would result in appropriating His word to experience. Here He reverses that idea–appropriation of His word will issue in abiding in His love. Both sequences are interchangeable. We cannot separate one from the other. Application of Jesus’ precepts to one’s life is at the heart of loving Him.
you will abide in My love,
The idea here is to continue to enjoy Jesus’ love for them, not their love for Him.
just as I have kept My Father’s commandments
Just as Jesus followed the Father’s commands so the disciples are to follow His commandments. Jesus showed love for the Father by appropriating His plan and following His protocols in the incarnation. The Greek word “kept” means Jesus kept them in the past with the results continuing unto the upper room discourse (perfect indicative).
and abide in His love.
Jesus kept His Father’s commandments out of an abiding motivation of love for Him.
Loving Jesus or appropriating His word are interchangeable in effect.
There is no true love for Jesus without yielding to His will. It is an obedience of love, a joyful response to who and what He is. We respond to Him not because we must but because we want to.
Jesus does not change His love toward us. His love for us is immutable. We measure the extent of His love toward us by His giving His life for His friends. There should be no doubt of the measure of His love even in the deepest reversal we might face. Abiding in Jesus’ love for us means that we carry assurance that He never stops loving us. We cannot measure that love but our enjoyment of His love toward us depends on abiding in His love.
To abide in Jesus’ love does not imply an absolute love as He had for us. Finite believers cannot follow the Lord perfectly; rather, it is the ultimate standard that we follow. We see the implications of this more in First John.
Loving Jesus is no mystical experience. Love for Him shows itself by taking His teaching seriously, by appropriating His percepts to our experience. The more we do this the more we maintain fellowship with Him.
It is impossible to love Jesus without responding to His teaching and it is impossible to appropriate His teaching without loving Him. We love Jesus because “he first loved us” (1 Jn 4:19). We do this by keeping His precepts or principles (Jn 14:15). This causes us to “abide in His love.”
Note that this passage does not assert that our obedience to Jesus earns His love. He does not require us to wrench out love from Him. Our Lord does not try to bribe love from us. His love is always first, prior and unconditional (Jn 3:16; 1 Jn 4:10).