John 15:13 — LeGrand Baker — ‘lay down his life’
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for hisfriends.
This morning my daughter Dawn was considering the woes of motherhood and the cost in time, patience, and effort in rearing her four young children. She graduated from BYU with a double major in economics and philosophy and was wondering what was becoming of her life.
This scripture was called to her mind – but not just the scripture but also the understanding that she needed to check Strong to see what it really says. What it says did not surprise her, but it did surprise me when she told me.
“Lay” is Strong # 5087, “theh’-o (which is used only as alt. in cert. tenses); to place (in the widest application, lit. and fig.; prop. in a passive or horizontal posture, and thus different from 2476, which prop. denotes an upright and active position, while 2749 is prop. reflexive and utterly prostrate): – + advise, appoint, bow, commit, conceive, give, kneel down, lay (aside, down, up), make ordain, purpose, put, set (forth), settle, sink down.”
It isn’t about why one dies, but it is about why one lives. It is about dedication and constancy. Knowing what it is about gives this whole passage a new meaning.
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life [dedication and constancy ] for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you (John 15:9-15).