Friday 9 September 2022

John 15:1-17

1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. 5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. 9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than 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 slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 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 Matt Samperi

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