15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
In this passage, Jesus says that if we remain in Him, we will find ourselves living fruitful lives. He also says in verse 10, that our obedience will keep us in His love and will also lead to joy.
So we could say that obedience to the commands of Jesus will lead to fruitfulness and joy. That sounds like a good deal to me! And what does obedience look like? Loving each other, just as God has loved us.
It’s easy to gloss over love, as if it’s cliché, trite, or we’ve “heard it all before”. Yet God is love. His love is endless, abounding, persistent and true. If anything, love is the imperative of the gospel, and we shouldn’t treat it like a known quantity. Indeed, a world filled with love would look very different to this world we know now. We have a lot to learn.
Jesus, please help me to love you with all my heart, and love my neighbour as myself. Help me to obey this command, so that I may glorify You with my life, and find fruitfulness and joy abound. Amen.
Written by Ps. Matt Samperi