I Will Show Myself To The One That Loves Me- John 14:21
We have seen, in a previous post, that to love someone means to do what is in their best interest, that love always seeks the highest good of its object. We understand, from 1John 4:8, that God is love, that God always does what is in the best interest of everyone, that He seeks the highest good of the objects of His love, us. We generally tend to think of God’s love as one-dimensional, that His love is the “same” for every human being. A rather short analysis of Scripture will show us thet this is not the case, that His love is more multi-faceted than we commonly imagine, that His love is seen in different forms and expressed in different ways. We begin with John 3:16, in which we learn that “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life”. By using world here, John refers to every human being. God loves every human being, and he displayed that love by sending His Son to die for every one of us. This is how He expresses His love for every human being, by making an “appeal” to them, so that they may be restored to Him, which is their (and everyone’s) highest good. This is the form in which God’s love is displayed to the unsaved in the world, and His appeal to them in the sending of His Son is the first dimension in which we see God’s love displayed. The second way in which God’s love is expressed in through what we call “acceptance”. Ephesians 1:5-6 tells us that God “predestined unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ Himself- to the praise of the glory of His grace, wherein He has made us accepted in the beloved”. All of those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are “accepted in the beloved”. In other words, God’s love is expressed in a different form to those who are born again. It is referred to here as being “accepted among the beloved”, which we will refer to as acceptance. This is what is commonly referred to as God’s “unconditional” love, which can be a bit misleading, because it depends upon meeting a “condition”, the condition of repentance and faith, of turning from sin and accepting Christ as Lord and Savior. Those who have met this condition have God’s acceptance, which means that they are then accepted “unconditionally”, that they can never do anything to lose God’s acceptance of them, they are “unconditionally” accepted because they are among the beloved, because they have accepted Christ as Lord and Savior. The third way in which God’s love is expressed is in what we call “approval”, and this love is “conditional”, as seen in John 14:21. This verse reads as follows: “Whoever has My commands and keeps them, he is the one that loves Me. He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love Him and show myself to Him”. We notice here a third expression of God’s love, a special expression of love given only to those who “keep His commands”, and it is expressed in the form of Jesus Christ “showing Himself” to them. Those who are “among the beloved” are accepted by God unconditionally, God accepts who we are, but does not always approve of what we do, and those who obey Him, who have His commands and keep them, will be experience an added dimension of God’s love, expressed here as Jesus “showing Himself” to them. The Greek word translated “show” here is emphanizo, – to communicate with, to make known or help comprehend. So what this verse is telling us is that Jesus reveals more of Himself to those who obey Him. We must remember that in Scripture, “knowing Jesus” speaks of a personal relationship with Him, and this type of relationship is one that grows as those involved grow to know one another more intimately, who gain a greater understanding of the heart, mind and soul of the other. Jesus tells us here of the most profound and intimate expression of God’s love, and it is expressed by God revealing Himself to those who obey Him, that those who obey Him will know Him “better”, will grow to know His heart, mind and soul more intimately, will begin to think as He thinks, talk as He talks and do what He would do. So, in conclusion, we find that God does love everyone, but that His love is expressed in different ways, that it is not one-dimensional, but multi-faceted. Love always seeks the highest good of its object, and the highest good for any human being is to know God. God loves the world by making it possible for every human being to “know” Him by accepting Christ. God loves all believers by bestowing His acceptance upon them, accepting them for who they are and not based on what they do . God loves obedient believers by revealing more and more of Himself to them, so that those who obey Him will walk in a more intimate personal relationship with Jesus Christ, which is the highest good for every one of us.