Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. ~ John 14:21a (ESV)
Jesus won't let us love him unconditionally. No, he actually has the nerve to set conditions for our love. All the warm, fuzzy feelings one might get when considering the babe in the manger are not enough. All the tender feelings of sympathy and pity that well up inside at an image of the crucifixion are not enough. Jesus equates love for him with obedience to him.
Do you remember the old comedy show Hee Haw ? At some point in each episode the cast would gather around the piano and solemnly sing a hymn with hands dutifully clasped behind their backs. You might even see an occasional tear. Once this touching moment was over the show reverted back to the main format of low-brow humor and girls in low-cut tops and high-cut shorts. Jesus' words cut right through that sort of banal attempt at comforting a bruised conscience. If you love me, Jesus says, you will obey me.