Love = Loyalty. Do you LOVE Him?

Y’shua said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Have you ever stopped to ponder what the word ‘love’ means in this context?

Currently, our fellowship (as well as all Messianic and/or Jewish fellowships the world over) is/are studying through the Book of Deuteronomy/Devarim. As part of that study in our fellowship, we spent some time going through the excellent teaching by Rico Cortes titled, YHWH our Suzerain and pondering the fact that this renewing of the covenant with the second generation prior to their entry into the land is structured exactly as ancient Near East treaties. Further, the terms used set the definition for many concepts throughout Scripture.

Essentially, a failure to understand the Book of Deuteronomy leads to a failure to understand many concepts and definitions in the rest of Scripture. The statement by Y’shua, ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments’ is a classic example.

We will seek to define the word ‘love’ as it is used in this statement, based on the context it comes from.

Slide number 5 in Rico’s teaching has a list of terms commonly used in Ancient Near East Treaties. This information can be verified through both secular and theological sources, but if you want more detailed information, then I highly recommend his teaching and the bibliography at the end.

The slide:

FATHER What vassals call their suzerain (King)

SON – What the King calls his vassals

ADOPTION when a vassal king submits to the suzerain then the vassal kings people become adopted by the Suzerain

BROTHERTerm in Parity covenants

LOVE (Oheb)– Term of loyalty to the Suzerain (Bold mine)

KNOW (Yada)- Term used by the King who sees the faithfulness of the vassal

Friend Faithful, loyalty to the Suzerain

Pay attention to the 5th bullet: LOVE (Oheb)– Term of loyalty to the Suzerain

So, back to our opening verse.  Y’shua said, ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.’

Now, if you are a student of Scripture, then already, you have a pile of verses going off in your head…  Consider:

  • Father-Son relationship and the loyalty expressed as well as the Son ONLY doing the will of the Father..
  • Moses as the mediator/vassal at the giving of the covenant foreshadowing Y’shua being ‘One like unto me (Moses) who will teach the words of the Father’
  • The concept of adoption in the new Testament…
  • Y’shua telling the disciples, ‘I no longer call you servants… but ‘friends..’

And, in this context we have Him saying, ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.’

As we see in the slide above, ‘love’ is a legal term referring to ‘loyalty.’

Now, we know Y’shua could not teach anything except the doctrines of Yahweh. Deuteronomy 13 articulates this and Y’shua confirms it in John 7:16 when He states, “My doctrine is not Mine, but His who sent Me.”

So, what is the relationship between ‘love,’ ‘loyalty,’ and the doctrines of Yahweh? Deuteronomy, the covenant, has the answer.

Here are a selection of verses from Deuteronomy.  Where the word ‘love’ appears, I will substitute the language so it reads ‘loyal.’

Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who [are loyal] Him and keep His commandments; Deu. 7:9

“Now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require from you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and [to be loyal to] Him, and to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to keep the Lord’s commandments and His statutes which I am commanding you today for your good? Deu. 10:12-13

You shall therefore [be loyal to] the Lord your God, and always keep His charge, His statutes, His ordinances, and His commandments. Deu. 11:1

It shall come about, if you listen obediently to my commandments which I am commanding you today, to [be loyal to] the Lord your God and to serve Him with all your heart and all your soul,…  Deu. 11:13

For if you are careful to keep all this commandment which I am commanding you to do, to [be loyal to] the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and hold fast to Him,… Deu. 11:22

Starting to get the picture?

There are more…  Look them up for yourself to confirm this pattern:  Deuteronomy 13:3; 19:9; 30:6, 16, 20….  etc.  I’m sure I missed some and this is not taking into account the many more similar statements in other books…

Knowing that ‘love’ is a legal term articulating ‘loyalty’ we can begin to see through these many passages that ‘loyalty’ to Yahweh, ‘love’ of Yahweh, is defined as keeping His commandments.  Therefore, from a legal covenantal standpoint, those who break commandments, particularly willfully, are treasonous subjects.  Disloyal!

So, back to our opening verse.  Y’shua said, ‘If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.’

‘Love’ = ‘loyalty’ which is defined as ‘obedience.’

Some might ask, ‘Well, aren’t Y’shua/Jesus’ commands different than Torah?

Well, we have already identified that He could ONLY teach the doctrine of His Father…  Deuteronomy 13.  But if that is not enough for you, consider that Ya’acov/Jacob (James, so named to honor some king in the 1600s…) tells us in 4:12 that ‘there is One Lawgiver and Judge, the One able to save and to destroy.’ This further cements Y’shua’s relationship to the Torah as the One who gave it and the One who will judge by it.

No, Y’shua’s commands are NOT different than the Covenant given at Sinai and confirmed before Israel entered the Promised land.  Further, as I have stated on this blog before, I believe Deuteronomy IS the Torah that will be written on our hearts.

Summing up: Y’shua said, “If you LOVE Me, you will KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.”  It is a statement defining loyalty to Him.  Obedience to the Commandments = loyalty/love.

For those who may be seeing this for the first time, please allow me to make a couple things clear…

I pray this study has blessed and challenged you.


About Pete Rambo

Details in 'About' page @ Basically, husband of one, father of four. Pastor x 11 years, former business and military background. Micro-farmer. Messianic believer in Yeshua haMashiach!
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1 Response to Love = Loyalty. Do you LOVE Him?

  1. Kedoshim Ministries says:

    Its a shocking reality when we realize that love in covenant language is actually speaking of being loyal to our King and His Kingdom. I thought I loved Him because I would get all choked up thinking about how awesome He was, He knew I loved Him when I actually started obeying His Word.. Great post Pete. Keep teaching truth.


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