KJV John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Many people have heard this verse. Maybe you're one.
I always took it as the greatest way to love another is to die for them. While that sounds noble. I think there's more we can pull from it.
Let's break it down.
Breaking It Down
To lay down one's life. What does that mean?
My first inclination is to die, but when we die, do we lay down? No. More like we drop as in drop dead.
Maybe this verse is not talking about death at all.
When I lay down one of my children, I do it gently. gracefully... I try at least.
Don't get me wrong, there's times I want to lay them out but the verse doesn't command us to lay out our friends. That's not in this verse.
I mean, It'd be easier sometimes. But then again, since when did God prefer the east way?
Things Laid Down?
One thing which can be laid is a path. There's no greater love than to pave one's life for another. Work with me for a second.
Life is tough. If I can share my path with another, I could help them navigate around obstacles I struggled with.
How about bridge? We can lay down a bridge, right? There's no greater love than to bridge one's life for another.
It's a bit more meaningful to me. If my life serves as a bridge for another, it could help them cross something they may struggle with alone.
How about sacrifice? There's no greater love than sacrificing self for a friend. Sounds like we are heading back towards martyrdom with this synonym.
But sacrifice doesn't just mean to ritually kill. It can mean to gift, offer, surrender.
Maybe the meaning is to remind us we aren't the most important person in our lives.
Surrendering one's life for a friend.
Maybe it means stopping at an inconvenient time to comfort someone.
Maybe it means taking on the burden of easing someone's pain.
Maybe it means helping someone get through a struggle, even when it's a hassle.
Maybe it's about willing to lose your now to ensure a friend's win tomorrow.
Am I getting somewhere?
Win - Win
The greatest thing is helping others win scales. You win by helping others win. When you raise the tide of the ships around you, your ship rises too.
Maybe its about dedicating your life to serving others. Could it be that?
Greater love has no one than to serve one's friends.
Maybe to love is to serve.
Serving others is the greatest love.
Maybe that's the definition of love itself.
Let's look at the context of the passage the verse is in.
In John 15:15 Jesus completely contradicts my conclusion.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
Or is it a contradiction?
A servant has a master but one friend is not master to another. Instead they both mutually serve each other.
You can serve a friend with out being your friend's servant.
That's just some thoughts I had. I felt like sharing. Heresy or Divine interpretation. You tell me.