So your Protestant friends deny that Jesus/God loves them? Is that what you are saying?
Not one single verse would do to answer this question but rather, “every word from God”. In the Old Testament we see a loving God who chooses to take to himself a particular nation, the Hebrews/Jews and, out of love for them he delivers them from Egypt. They, in turn take God as their one, true God, and both parties seal the pact with a Covenant that will last for all time and Moses comes down the mountain with the Decalogue (10 Commandments).
The Jews soon lose focus. They get into bad habits, worship false Gods. The country is destroyed, the people enslaved more than once. The Prophets speak Truth to power in love. They remind the rulers and the people of what happens when they stray from God. But God Himself never givesd up on his people. Finally, as we read in the Gospels, He sends Himself to dwell among us in the form of His Son, Jesus.
The sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, together with his bestowal of the gift of the Holy Spirit and the mission he gave to the Apostles to “go, make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” (Mathew 28:19) indicates a greater love than we can comprehend. Truly awesome is God’s love for us, his creatures
" Know that the Lord is God
It is he that made us, and we are his;
we are His people, and the
sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good:
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100: 3-5