Sunday 06 May 2018

Bible Book:

“Abide in my love” (v. 9)

John 15:9-17 Sunday 6 May 2018

Psalm: Psalm 98


On the last night of his life, Jesus prepared his disciples for a new phase in his relationship with them after his death. He taught them that just as he had experienced God (the Father’s) love for himself, in the same way he had loved them. When he was physically gone, they were to continue to live in a permanent remembrance of this dynamic of receiving and giving back of love.

‘Abide’ is an old-fashioned word meaning live to permanently somewhere, or be at home with. Jesus was encouraging his disciples to continue after his death to be ‘at home’ with himself (the Christ), and so also the Father and one another. To live moment by moment with reference to these ‘others’ would be an eccentric life, a life centred not in themselves.

Jesus told the disciples how to do this. It was not a matter of an idea but of a practice. They were to keep his commandments, as he had kept the Father’s commandments (verse 10). In this way the spiritual joy that Jesus had experienced in abiding in his Father’s love would bubble up in his disciples in fullness of life (John 10:10).

In verse 12 Jesus reminded the disciples that his commandment was to love one another as he had loved them. Jesus had spent three years living in close intimacy with his disciples, who he now called his friends. They were friends, not servants, because they were co-workers with God, intentionally caring for and loving the world, co-operating with God’s purposes (as God had originally intended for humans – Genesis 1).

Jesus was about to lay down his life for his friends (verse 13) and taught them that nothing: no honour, wealth, or power was greater than the self-emptying love of giving your life for friends.

Jesus reminded his disciples, who might feel overwhelmed by the enormity of their calling in his physical absence, that he chose them, they did not choose him. Just as everyone is chosen by God, because of God’s love, not because of their inherent qualities.

As we consent to being chosen, abiding in the love of God, Christ and one another, and participating in this dynamic love, so we become fruitful.

To Ponder

  • When have you been eccentric in living the Christian life?
  • Have you had the experience of continuing to feel the presence of a loved one after they have died? How would you describe this experience?
  • When have you experienced being ‘fruitful’? What was it like?
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