“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.” (John 15:9)

How many times have we heard these words, felt warmed by them, and yet not really grasped the radi­cal truth behind them? Let’s take a look, for instance, at what Jesus means when he says, “As the Father has loved me.” Let’s consider a few instances in Jesus’ life where we get a glimpse into how much the Father loves his Son.

When Jesus was baptized by John, the heavens opened, the Holy Spirit descended like a dove, and a voice from heaven said: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). Jesus was God’s dearest treasure, the apple of his eye, and he wanted to make sure that everyone around knew how precious he was to him.

Then again, at Jesus’ transfigura­tion, God announced: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 17:5). God was pleased with his Son and honored him by raising him to heavenly status that day on the mountain, making his clothes brilliant white and his face shining like the sun. Again, we get a glimpse into the purity, passion, and power in the love that the Father has for Jesus.

So what does this have to do with us? Everything! Jesus is telling us he loves us in the same way and with the same intensity that the Father loves him. He is well pleased with us; we are his beloved, dear to his heart. We are the apple of his eye, a shining jewel in his sight.

Can you believe this truth when you fail to honor him? When you fall into sin or become complacent in your faith? You certainly can! Jesus died to pay for all those times you fail him. All you have to do is turn away from whatever is drawing you away from him and turn toward the light of his love. The more we soak up his power and light, the more we will be able to understand and experience the depths of his love for us. Jesus chooses to love us every moment of every day. May we never forget this awesome truth!

“Jesus, you make my joy complete with your love. I will choose to love you today, just as you have chosen to love and keep me for the rest of my life.”

Acts 15:7-21; Psalm 96:1-3,10