Rabbi’s Reflections – Saturday, March 30, 2024
Shabbat Shalom,

Holy Agape Part 2
by David Harwood

Continuing in a definition of agape, I wrote.

God is holy and His agape is as holy as He is. Just as God’s power is greater than humanity’s, God’s agape is more strongly felt. Here are the pinnacles of holy agape: God’s love for the world and His love for Yeshua. Yeshua’s love for Father and Yeshua’s love for us (John 3:16, 35; 17:23 14:31; 15:9, 13).

Last week we touched upon God’s love for the world and for Yeshua. This week we will look into agape seen through Yeshua’s love for Father and for us.

Consider His love for Father.

Nobody ever loved Father with the same purity, wholeness of heart, and intensity as Yeshua.


His agape for God is the standard by which we are to measure our love for God. After all, it is the greatest command and Yeshua illustrates what that agape looks like.

Compare our love for God with the Messiah’s? I’m tempted to give up. What about you?

Wait! Don’t quit.

We have a sure hope that when we see Him we shall be like Him. I’m not happy about this, but I realize that until the day of Messiah’s revelation our agape for God is going to be quite feeble in comparison.

Here’s the hope I mentioned: Loved (agape) ones, now we are God’s children; and it has not yet been revealed what we will be. But we do know that when it’s revealed, we shall be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. (1 John 3:2) 

I marvel at the quality of the Messiah’s love for God. Look at John 14:31.

But in order that the world may know that I love (agape) the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let’s go from here! (John 14:31) 

Yeshua loved Father. That motivated His obedience and He wanted the world to understand that motive. He demonstrated His agape as a message to humanity. Yeshua saw God as worthy of trustful obedience. He saw God as worthy of devoted agape.

This is holy love.

He provided the pattern of holy human love for God. It is the spontaneous and deliberate obedience godly agape produces. Yeshua applied this pattern to our relationship with Him. He said that if we love Him, we will obey Him (John 14:15) like He obeyed Father. This is the pattern of agape He demonstrated. That is the way our lives are to be lived. It is the baseline and highpoint of human love for God.

Yeshua’s agape for Father was an emotion He felt. He is also the paradigm of being loved by God. In fact, Messiah utilized His relationship with Father as the example of how He loved us.

“Just as the Father has loved (agape) Me, I also have loved (agape) you. Abide in My love (agape)! (John 15:9)

By the way, this is a command. It should be part of our meditation and highly prioritized. We are to abide in His agape. It is the same quality of agape Yeshua experienced. He lived in Father’ agape. He commands us to dwell in His.

Finally, Yeshua said this about holy agape.

No one has greater love (agape) than this: that he lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) 

Friendships have a built-in mutual affection. Friends reciprocate. Friends are present for one another, have common concerns, and watch over each other’s interests. The Lord said that even sinners agape those who agape them. Here, however, He points to an agape so powerful that it motivates one friend to freely give his life for the other. This is another example of holy agape.

I am comforted by this. I am challenged, too. I want my love for God to grow. I want my agape for others to increase.

How about you?

Daily Bread, reading plan by Lars Enarson (https://www.thewatchman.org/)
20 Adar II Shabbat 30-Mar-24 Parashat Tsav Shabbat Parah
Leviticus 8:22-36; Numbers 19:1-22 Ezekiel 36:16-38