Love Lays Down His Life

John 15:12–15, Part 1

Principle for Bible Reading

What does it mean to be a friend of Jesus? In this lab, John Piper begins a series of three labs focused on friendship with Jesus. Jesus loves you with the greatest possible love and paid the ultimate price to have you — a friendship like no other.

View the outline.


Introduction/Prayer (00:00–01:22)

Friends or Enemies? (01:22–05:16)

  1. Why does Jesus say “friends” and not enemies in John 15:13. Isn’t loving enemies a greater love than loving friends?
  2. The love of God increases as the object of his love goes down in merit(Romans 5:8). His love is greatest when the object is least deserving.
  3. So why does Jesus saying something different in John 15:13?

The Greatest Love (05:16–07:54)

  1. Jesus’ point in John 15:12–15 is not about the difference between love for friends and love for enemies.
  2. The two ends of the spectrum here are, for instance, giving a friend a cup of water and sacrificing your own life for them. (John 15:13)
  3. Greater love for a friend makes greater sacrifices for the one it loves.
  4. Jesus loves you with the greatest possible love. He made the greatest possible sacrifice — the ultimate price — for you.

Study Questions

  1. Why would Jesus say “friends” in John 15:13, and not “enemies”? Would not a love for one’s enemies exceed love for a friend?
  2. Read Romans 5:6–8. What point is Paul making in these three verses, and how might it relate to John 15:12–15?
  3. If Jesus is making a different point in John 15:13 than Paul is in Romans 5:6–8, what is it? What unique point is Jesus making about friendship?
Piper: “We measure the love and friendship of Jesus by the price he paid for us.”