12 Here is my command. Love one another, just as I have loved you. 13 No one has greater love than the one who gives their life for their friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I do not call you slaves anymore. Slaves do not know their master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends. I have told you everything I learned from my Father. 16 You did not choose me. Instead, I chose you. I appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit that will last. I also appointed you so that the Father will give you what you ask for. He will give you whatever you ask for in my name. 17 Here is my command. Love one another.
This passage of the Bible comes as a comfort and an incredible challenge to me. Jesus gives us an example to how we need to interact with one another and reminds us of His complete selflessness on the cross. Jesus loved us before we loved him. He chose us before we chose Him, which gives us an example of WHO to love- which is everyone. Even those who don’t “choose” us as friends.
I love the illustration Jesus gives by calling us His friends. In verse 16, Jesus has ‘appointed us to bear fruit’. Fruit is the produce or the outcome of the tree or ‘of our lives’. When pondering on that, the fruits of the spirit come to mind. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control- the essence and characteristics of a true friend.
Lord help me to love everyone, friend or foe, the way you do. Help me to remember that you chose us and you loved us first, when we were arrogant and unaware of your life that you freely gave to us. Thank you Jesus for your selfless friendship you give to us and I pray you help me to bear your fruit daily so I can take up your commandment.
Written by Sophie Stewart