Friday 25 August 2017

Bible Book:

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” (vv. 7-8)

John 15:7-17 Friday 25 August 2017

Psalm: Psalm 68:1-20


There is one key word which is used often in John chapters 14and 15 which is particularly important in today's passage - that isthe word 'meno' which is translated 'abide' in verse , but in otherplaces is translated 'dwell' or 'make a home'. To understand whatJesus means by "abide in my love" it is worth noticing the otherways in which the idea of dwelling is mentioned in John'sGospel.

John 1:14 introduces Jesus ministry by sayingthat God came and dwelt among us. The word used there is not'meno', but one which specifically implies dwelling in a tent(possibly recalling the tabernacle or tent of meeting in the OldTestament). The idea, however, is the same. In Jesus, God madeGod's home among us.

This verse is part of a speech which begins in chapter 14 withthe promise of 'dwelling places' being prepared for us with theFather (John 14:1-4). The idea then runs like a threadthrough the rest of the speech, see for example John14:10, 11, 17; 15:4, 6 ,7. In our reading for today see verses7, 10.

Put all these verses together and you get a golden thread of Godabiding with us in Jesus, Jesus abiding in the Father and theFather in Jesus, Jesus and the Spirit abiding in us and us abidingin Jesus. It can feel confused and confusing but that threadmatters when faced with a verse which could be read to say that wehave to keep commandments in order to abide in God's love, ratherthan realising that keeping God's commandments is one aspect ofabiding in God's love. Today's passage invites us to ponder the wayin which love and the various ways in which we and Jesus dwelltogether are interlinked.

To Ponder

  • What does the idea of dwelling/home/abiding mean to you? Whatimages does it call to mind?
  • For some people even home is not a safe place. How might theimage of 'dwelling' be helpful to them?
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