True love (1 John 3:16)

“We know love

By this,

That Jesus

Laid down his life

For us.

We ought to lay down

Our lives

For our brothers.”

Ἐν τούτῳ ἐγνώκαμεν τὴν ἀγάπην, ὅτι ἐκεῖνος ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ ἔθηκεν· καὶ ἡμεῖς ὀφείλομεν ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν τὰς ψυχὰς θεῖναι.

This author said, “We know (ἐγνώκαμεν) love (τὴν ἀγάπην) by this (Ἐν τούτῳ), that Jesus (ὅτι ἐκεῖνος) laid down (ἔθηκεν) his life (τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ) for us (ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν).  We ought (καὶ ἡμεῖς ὀφείλομεν) to lay down (θεῖναι) our lives (τὰς ψυχὰς) for our brothers (ὑπὲρ τῶν ἀδελφῶν).”  This author explained what love is.  They knew that Jesus Christ loved us so much that he laid down his life for us.  He was a martyr witness to great love for all of us with his crucifixion.  Thus, this example of extreme love was what we should be able to do.  He wanted his readers to also lay down their lives for their fellow brother believers.  The highest expression of love is to give up your own life for someone else.  Jesus Christ had done this.  We should expect the same, since we were followers of Jesus Christ.  Are you willing to die for someone else?

The power of love (Song 8:5-8:7)

Male lover

“Under the apple tree I awakened you.

There your mother was in labor with you.

There she who bore you was in labor.

Set me as a seal upon your heart.

Set me as a seal upon your arm.

Love is as strong as death.

Passion is as fierce as the grave.

Its flashes are flashes of fire.

It is a raging flame.

Many waters cannot quench love.

Neither can floods drown it.

If one offered for love

All the wealth of one’s house,

It would be utterly scorned.”

The male lover woke his lover up under the apple tree. He maintains that it was there that she was born from the labor of her mother. Now he wants his lover to bear his seal on her heart and on her arm. The seal was a sense of ownership. Then he went on to talk about the power of love. Love is just as strong as death. Passion is just as fierce as the grave. The love flashes of fire become a raging flame that no water can quench. Not even a flood can drown out love. If someone offers all the wealth they had, the lover would scorn it for his true love.