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.
For Jesus, “laying down” his life meant a painful physical sacrifice. We may never be called to do that for another, but there are lots of ways of laying down our lives that don’t involve death or organ donation. We may need to amputate our personal ambitions in order to do what’s best for our families. We might be called to give sacrificially of our hard-earned money in order to care for someone who is experiencing a crushing need. We may experience a call to give up a lucrative career in order to pursue a ministry that serves people the rest of the world has forgotten.
There are a thousand ways we can lay down our lives on behalf of Jesus, but we’ll only be able to do it if we are willing to receive his love for us. We can’t earn it, only receive it and allow it to transform us. It’s only then that we, as friends of Jesus, will be able to “bear fruit” that will last.