Skip to main content

Do you love Jesus?

Built on a Rock
Rev. Dr. Phil Booe, St. John Lutheran Church, Luverne

Jesus said, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my word.” (John 14:23-24).
What a humbling reminder from the lips of Jesus himself. Jesus’ teaching here could not be clearer: If you love him, you will keep his word; if you do not love him, you will not keep his word. So, do you love Jesus? Have you kept his word?
It is difficult for us Christians, who know we love Jesus, to turn and admit that we have not always kept his word. In an attempt to excuse ourselves, a question comes to our mind: What exactly is the word of Christ?
Some say the words of Christ we must keep are only those words in the scriptures that were actually spoken by Jesus. And so they grab their red-lettered Bible; they read the words in red and leave everything else up for grabs.
But there are two problems with that. First, even if we only look at the words in red, we still cannot follow them perfectly. And second, Jesus is God. All scripture was inspired by God. Thus, whether the words we read are in red or in black, written by St. Paul or St. James, or Moses, they make up the word of Jesus.
When we read the Bible carefully, we cannot help but conclude that we have failed to keep God’s Word perfectly. We are sinners. When compared to the perfection which God requires, we know we deserve nothing but death in hell. We bring nothing to our defense for God on Judgment Day.
So is there good news? Yes! Thanks be to God, he is not only the righteous judge, but he is our heavenly Father, too. He loves us and desires all people be saved. The penalty that we deserve for all of our failures to keep his word, the Father has put upon Jesus. Jesus willingly endured that punishment out of his love for us. For those who hope and believe in Jesus, God no longer sees you as sinners, but as his beloved sons and daughters.
We love Jesus, because he first loved us. Without the powerful working of God in our lives, we would still be lost in sin. Yes, our love for Jesus is weak, but where our loves fails, Jesus’ love for us overcomes our weakness.
Isn’t God amazing? He created the world in perfection, and when we messed it up, he sent us a Savior. Jesus came as our Savior, but we end up killing him! Yet through that death, God forgives us of all our sins.
Even though we are weak and we do not always love Jesus by keeping his word, God still loves us. He still forgives us when we come to him in repentance. He gives us his Holy Spirit to help us until he calls us home.
God is amazing! He demands perfection from us, and then he gives us that perfection he requires.