12 This is My commandment: that you should love one another, even as I love you.
13 No one has greater love than this that anyone should lay down his life for his friends.
14 You are My friends if you do what I command you.
Jesus returns to the commandment that He had issued to His disciples earlier in the evening. It is the commandment that they should love one another.
Once again Jesus tells them that their love for one another must be the same kind of love with which He loved them.
His love for them, and for us, is unique, because it is very different from the love that is usually found amongst men and women.
We tend to have a mutual love; loving and being loved usually in equal measure. There are occasions when we might love someone without being loved in return, but after a while such love tends to get less until it finally disappears. We know this as unrequited love.
It is true that the love of Jesus and the Father for mankind is most often unrequited. It is not returned by the very people whom He loves.
We know that He loves the whole world, yet very few of the world’s population love Him in return. Indeed perhaps we can say that not one of us loves Him in the same measure as He loves us. Yet this mismatch of love does not stop Him from loving us.
His love for us is eternal, it is always the same.
God’s word tells us:
Long ago the LORD said to Israel: “I have loved you, My people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to Myself – Jeremiah 31.3 (NLT).
Again in God’s word we read:
I led Israel along with My ropes of kindness and love. I lifted the yoke from his neck, and I Myself stooped to feed him – Hosea 11.4 (NLT).
Jesus is the absolute demonstration of the supremacy of God’s love: He came and died for us while we were still sinners (Romans 5.8).
His love is sacrificial. His love is selfless. His love for us continues to love us when we do not love Him in return.
This is how we are to love one another.