As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete. This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. This is what I command you: Love one another. John 15:9-17
One of Jesus’ last commands to his disciples and to us was for us to love one another. But the kind of love that we often envision when we hear the word love. When we hear the word love we often envision a love that is based purely on emotion, and that is subject to change based on how you feel at a given time. The love Jesus is talking about here is love not based solely on emotion, but is also based on you ability to think and to make a decision based on your ability to think and to reason. The word in Greek for the kind of love that Jesus is talking about here is agapaö, which speaks of an intelligent, thoughtful and purposeful love involving the entire personality, but primarily a decision of the mind and will. Which is different than the emotion driven love that we often envision which would be the Greek word phileö, which speaks of a warm, natural and more spontaneous sense of feeling and affection–a more emotional love. Paul describes this kind of love in this way:
If I speak human or angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so that I can move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. And if I give away all my possessions, and if I give over my body in order to boast but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not arrogant, is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not irritable, and does not keep a record of wrongs. Love finds no joy in unrighteousness but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends. But as for prophecies, they will come to an end; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will come to an end. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will come to an end. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I will know fully, as I am fully known. Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love — but the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:1-13
Both Paul and Jesus are telling us that our love for one another should not be based solely on the way feel, but it should be based on a conscious decision to love them regardless of the way we personally feel about them.