No one has greater love than this

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This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command you.
I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
This I command you: love one another.



    Is there something wrong with this picture?Military revolutionary’s did exist in Christ’s time, one of the most famous groups were the Zealots and they did not have a problem dying in battle for their cause. But is dying the only way to lay down ones life? Was not part of Christ’s message that he died for our sins, so that we might live? Martyrs die for faith,  in that they will not part with their faith ,even if it means death; because life without faith is death to them.  They do not die for God.  On the contrary, they live for God. Martyrs realize life in defiance of God is death. “ No one has a greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for ones friends” has morphed into a bit of an unofficial  phrase of the military. The danger is not that military identifies with this statement, for in that military sense it is quite true: the solders laying down their life for their countrymen  is the greatest sacrifice, truly noble, fully dignified, honorable, and without fault. The danger though is reducing this quote down to interpreting “laying down ones life” to be synonymous or interchangeable with “to die for.” They are not synonymous.They certainly are not interchangeable. Laying down ones life can be a death of pride, a death of opinions, a death of animosity, a death of hatred.It does not simply mean bodily death. The danger of using this one line as a slogan, is that it misses the message contained in the remaining four lines. The danger is especially in that it ignores the statement of the first and last line: Love one another, love one another as I have loved you.

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