When reflecting on what Jesus had to say about love as found in John 13-17 it is obvious God the Father is a loving God. He loved Jesus. This is a theme that permeates these chapters. While Jesus was here on earth He remained in His Father’s love.
The thing that amazes me is that the Father loves those who love His Son. He identifies them by observing their lifestyles. If they have Christ’s commands and obey them He knows that they love Jesus, His Son, and He in turn will love them.
In Jesus Christ’s High Priestly prayer it says in John 17:23 the Father loves His Son and those who love His Son equally. Jesus put it this way: “May they, that is, believers, be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.” Isn’t that precious? God the Father’s desire is that the love He has for His Son might be experienced and expressed within believers. He wants His love toward me, to fill me and flow through me. What a wonderful truth to meditate on.
In John 16:27, Jesus says, “the Father Himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.” The word translated “love” here is “phileo,” which means a natural affection for. God has a natural affection for you because you have a natural affection for His Son and believe that He came from God.
This ties into the promise He makes in verse 26 regarding answering our prayers. If we have a natural affection for Jesus and believe in Him the Father promises to answer our prayers.