Jesus loves us the way the Father loves Him. God demonstrates His love to us through the Son—while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8).
In order to abide in the love of Christ, we must follow His commandments and obey His will at whatever cost. Christ has done the same by obeying the Father. Because Christ always obeyed the Father, He always abides in His love as well. This was Christ’s joy, and He shared it with us so that we may do the same, and acquire His joy and let it dwell in us. This is true fulfillment.
We are commanded to love others the way Christ loved us, and Christ loves us the way the Father loves Him. In this way we become vessels for the Father to pour His love into. God pours into the Son, Christ pours that love into us, and we as disciples are commanded to pour that love into those around us, that we may draw men to the knowledge of the love of the Father. There is no greater love than to lay down our life for our friends. We demonstrate our greatest love to Christ by dying to our flesh daily and allowing Him to be glorified in us; we demonstrate this same love to those around us by putting their needs above our own, by treating those around us as better than ourselves. In this way, we lay down our lives for theirs, that God may reach them through us.
When we obey the command to love others the way Christ loved us, Jesus calls us His friends, because we do His will. His will has been made known to us, that all men be saved. Therefore, we are no longer servants who do not understand their master’s business, but we have full knowledge of His will. What God revealed to the Son, Jesus revealed to us, that we might know His will and love others the way that He loved us. The trade of the Father is love, and He has handed this down to His Son Christ, who has now left and handed this trade down to us. It is not a whim but a lifestyle.