|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:9-17 Those whom God loves as a Father, may despise the hatred of all the world. As the Father loved Christ, who was most worthy, so he loved his disciples, who were unworthy. All that love the Saviour should continue in their love to him, and take all occasions to show it. The joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment, but the joy of those who abide in Christ's love is a continual feast. They are to show their love to him by keeping his commandments. If the same power that first shed abroad the love of Christ's in our hearts, did not keep us in that love, we should not long abide in it. Christ's love to us should direct us to love each other. He speaks as about to give many things in charge, yet names this only; it includes many duties.
Verse 9. - Two ways of explaining this verse: Even as - inasmuch as - the Father hath loved me, and as I have loved you, abide in my love; i.e., as Grotius has put it, the first clause suggesting accordance with the mystery of the Trinity, and the second the mystery of redemption: "So do ye continue, or so do ye abide, in the amplitude of this double love which is mine, dwell in it as in a holy atmosphere, breathe it and live by it." But there is another and more satisfactory way of translating the passage: Even as the Father loved me, I also loved you; a fact of stupendous interest and transcendent claim. Heaven had opened over the incarnate Word, and other ears as well as his own had heard the Father say, "Thou art my beloved Son," etc. The Lord was conscious of being the Object of this infinite love before the foundation of the world (John 17:24), and of reciprocating and responding to it; and this love of the Father to him on his assumption of his mediatorial functions was the well-spring of his obedience unto death and after it (see John 10:17, note). Now, if the κἀγὼ is to be translated as above, Christ declares that even as the Father has loved him, he has' loved his disciples. Again and again he has emphasized this love to them (John 13:34), but here he asserts a loftier claim, viz. that his love to them corresponds with the eternal Father's love to himself. The one great fact is the ground on which he commands them to abide in his love. This is obviously a more explicit and more intelligible form of the commandment to abide in him. With Olshausen and Westcott, "The love that is mine "is not the love to Christ, nor the love of Christ exclusively, but a blending of the active and passive idea in "the love that is mine" - in the "love" lavished upon me from eternity, and to which I have eternally responded, which I have made known to you and expended on you and received back again from you. Abide in that love that is mine.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As the Father hath loved me,.... As his own Son, and as Mediator, from everlasting; and in time, in his state of humiliation, throughout the course of his obedience, and under all his sufferings; which he testified more than once by a voice from heaven; which he showed by concealing nothing from him as Mediator, by giving all things into his hands, by showing him all that he himself did, by appointing him the Saviour of the body, and making him the head of the church, by exalting him at his right hand, and ordaining him to be judge of quick and dead.
So have I loved you: Christ loves his as his spouse and bride, as his dear children, as members of his body, as branches in him the vine, as believers in him, and followers of him; which he has shown by espousing both their persons and cause, by assuming their nature, by suffering and dying in their room and stead, and making all suitable provision for them, both for time and eternity. And there is a likeness between the Father's love to him, and his love to his disciples and followers: as his Father loved him from everlasting, so did he love them; as his Father loved him with a love of complacency and delight, so did he, and so does he love them; and as his Father loved him with a special and peculiar affection, with an unchangeable, invariable, constant love, which will last for ever, in like manner does Christ love his people; and with this he enforces the following exhortation.
Continue ye in my love: meaning either in his love to them, which, as he always continues in it without any variableness or shadow of turning, so he would have them continue in believing their interest in it, prizing and valuing it, in imitating and remembering it; or else in their love to him, to his person, to his people, to his Gospel, to his ordinances, ways, and worship, which he knew was liable to wax cold, though it could not be lost.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9-11. continue ye in my love—not, "Continue to love Me," but, "Continue in the possession and enjoyment of My love to you"; as is evident from the next words.
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