If you love Me, keep My commandments.All my life I have understood this passage to mean that we love Jesus by keeping his commandments.
But I now believe that's in reverse-order.
If we love Jesus, obedience will naturally follow.
There was a woman who had two suitors. She wanted to go see a certain chick-flick on Friday night. One suitor wanted to take her to the movies, but preferred that they see a guy-film instead, but reluctantly conceded to take her to the chick-flick. The other suitor, although enjoying guy-films much better than chick-flicks, never even thought of the possibility of seeing a different film, because his desire was to make the woman happy, and he anxiously jumped at the chance to take the lady to see her chick-flick.
Both men "kept her commandments", but which one loved her?
So it is with our relationship to Jesus.
We've focused too much on "keeping the commands" and too little on having affection for the Master.
Do we love our ability to "prove our love for the Master", or do we love our Master? If the latter, then why so much emphasis on keeping the commands and so little emphasis on having affection for the command-giver?
I think it's because we've defined "love" to be "agape", which seeks the good of the other person regardless of how we feel - rather than as "desire", which seeks the good of the other person because of how we feel.
Maybe we need to learn to feel.