Lesson 89


The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

15:9 Even as the Father has loved me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love. 15:10 If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and remain in his love. 15:11 I have spoken these things to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. 15:12 This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. 15:14 You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. 15:15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant doesn't know what his lord does. But I have called you friends, for everything that I heard from my Father, I have made known to you. 15:16 You didn't choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.


 Today's Lesson 

In Todayís Scripture, Jesus goes into depth about what it means for branches to abide in the vine. What He tells His disciples is centered on three concepts: love, obedience, and sacrifice.

 

He begins by instructing them on love. "Even as the Father has loves me, I also have loved you. Remain in my love." Godís love come to us through His Son. Christ is filled with the love of the Father and that love overflows to the lives of those that He touches. This is the same process we are instructed to model in our own lives. We receive the love of Christ and allow that love to flow through us and into the lives of those around us. We abide in the vine by expressing His love to others.

 

He speaks to them here about obedience as well. "If you keep my commandmentsÖ" and He reminds them that He has kept the commandments of His Father. We have a tendency to think of obedience as drudgery and labor. But, Jesus said, "This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you." The commandments of the Father and the Son are based on the same love that they give to us freely. We have only to receive their love and express it to others in the way that God would have us to do and we will fulfill the commandment of God. It may be difficult and it may be impossible to accomplish without Godís assistance, but loving those around us is not drudgery or labor. 

 

Jesus also spoke to His disciples about sacrifice. "Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." This whole conversation is within the context of Jesus preparing His disciples for His imminent death. The kind of love that God expresses for His people is a sacrificial love that is willing to spend itself for the sake of another. This willingness to sacrifice is a part of the very nature of God that Christ Jesus came to reveal to us.

 

Jesus tells these disciples that those who abide in Him and keep His commandments are granted the honor of becoming His friends. No longer will they be servants of subjects of the King. They will be His accepted friends. They will become sharers in the secret things of God.

 

And He also reminds them that He was the one that chose them. They can accomplish the goals that He is laying out for them with His help. He chose them because they would be able to do it. And He chose them so that they would bear much fruit for the Father. Our fruit will glorify the vine in which we were placed on the day of our salvation.

 

In what way does your life in Christ reflect love, obedience and sacrifice? Over the next year, in which of these ways will God deal most with you? As we grow in grace, our lives should become more prominent in these three areas. May you know the love of God, which passes all understanding. May you be obedient to the commandments of our Father. And, may the sacrifice of our Lord be reflected in your life and spirit.

 

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