"I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love." (John 15:9 NLT)
The idea that Jesus loves me isn't a "new" concept, but this verse jumped out at me this morning.
I'm living in the south, so I hear a lot of people say that they love me -- and they all mean it, but to different degrees. At one end of the spectrum, there are the folks who use "Love ya!" the way some folks use "See you later!" There's no real relationship required for those kinds of statements... and while those folks might help you with something if it isn't too much trouble, you're not going to have them on your cell phone speed dial.
At the other end of the spectrum, there are the folks who love you enough that they will take your phone call at 3 am or rescue you when your car won't start and you're stranded somewhere even if you got on their nerves earlier that day. They're willing to be inconvenienced for you -- and you'd do the same for them. That kind of love is based on a closer relationship.
There's no closer relationship than the one between Jesus and the Father. There is no love more perfect than that. And yet... that's the way He loves us!