John 15:13

Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
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Augustine of Hippo

AD 430
1. The Lord, beloved brethren, has defined that fullness of love which we ought to bear to one another, when He said: Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Inasmuch, then, as He had said before, This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you; and appended to these words what you have just been hearing, Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends; there follows from this as a consequence, what this same Evangelist John says in his epistle, That as Christ laid down His life for us, even so we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren; 1 John 3:16 loving one another in truth, as He has loved us, who laid down His life for us. Such also is doubtless the meaning of what we read in the Proverbs of Solomon: If you sit down to supper at the table of a ruler, consider wisely what is set before you; and so put to your hand, knowing that you are bound to make similar preparations. For wh...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
This is My commandment, &c. The Greek is emphatic with the double art, ή ε̉ντολὴ ή ε̉μὴ, i.e. My precept, even Mine. This is to be referred partly to the words, if ye keep My commandments, partly to, in My love, which is the scope of the whole parable from the beginning of the chapter to this place. The meaning therefore Isaiah , I have commanded you to keep My precepts, among which know ye that the chief is this, that ye love one another as I have loved you. Again, I have bidden you, Abide in My love, i.e. continue and persevere in loving Me. And this ye will do if ye love one another, and bestow your kindnesses and offices of charity upon your neighbours. For ye can bestow nothing upon Me, but whatsoever ye shall bestow upon them, I shall account as bestowed upon Myself as the Parent of all. Wherefore He calls this "My commandment." There is an allusion to His words in xiii34 , A new commandment I give unto you, &c. For what He here calls My commandment He there call...

Cornelius a Lapide

AD 1637
Greater love hath no Prayer of Manasseh , &c. Christ here sets forth the manner and terminus or extremity of His love wherewith He loves us, and of that wherewith He wills that we should love one another. As though He said, I have supremely loved you, therefore I require the same of you, and have a right to ask it, that ye should supremely love one another. For the highest and supreme love is that in which a man not only gives his substance, but his life, that Isaiah , freely offers and lays it down for his friends. This I do for you, i.e. I will presently lay down My life for you. Do you therefore in like manner give your lives for your friends and neighbours in such a manner that ye do not refuse, but welcome, all labours, perils, persecutions, and every kind of torment and death for their salvation. You may say, it is greater charity if any one lay down his life for his enemies than that he lay it down for his friends. Some reply to this by saying that the meaning Isaiah , There ca...

The Apostolic Constitutions

AD 375
For the Lord and our Saviour Jesus Christ did not scruple to "lay down His life "as Himself says, "for His friends."

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. - 2 Peter 1:20

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