As believers, we have been personally called by God, which is a great honor. However, are we aware that God loves no one in the universe more than us—no one, including Jesus Christ? By what authority is that claim made? How about Jesus Christ Himself?
In His last prayer just before His arrest, Christ prays for “those who will believe in Me through their [the disciples'] word” (John 17:20). That includes each of us who believe in Christ because of the words His disciples wrote in the Bible. Referring to these believers in verse 23, He asks God to reveal to the world “that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”
Understanding the full impact of this verse hinges on the little, two-letter word “as.” One definition is “to the same extent or degree; equally.” “Equally” means no more, no less. This definition makes Jesus' request staggering in its implications! It means we can truthfully say that there is not a being in the universe—including Jesus Christ—whom God loves more than us. Every individual whom God has called can say the same thing. God loves us all at the same incredible, beyond-our-comprehension level.
This verse also shows Christ's unbelievable love for us. He has been with God forever, yet the Son feels no animosity that our Father loves us Johnny-come-latelies just as much, unlike the elder brother in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. In fact, in His prayer Jesus is asking God to broadcast this truth to the world! Our Savior is preeminent in position and responsibility—but not in the Father's love. As the perfect Parent, God does not love any one child more than the others.
Yet, in the midst of our trials, do we believe Jesus Christ? Is there any bit of knowledge more important to have deeply embedded in our minds as we face life's many problems and challenges? We have the assurance of the depth of God's love for us from Christ Himself. That could be the most important single piece of information about God's love that we can know, and God packed it into one, two-letter word: "as."
Are we to be careful to live by every word, not to overlook even one of them, no matter how small? That question deserves a resounding, “Yes!”