Thursday 06 May 2010

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." (v.9-10)

John 15:9-11 Thursday 6 May 2010


Jesus knew that he would soon be given over into the hands ofthose who wanted to kill him and had therefore given his discipleshis final teachings, called 'The Farewell Discourse'. Two of themajor themes within the teaching are 'abiding in Jesus' and 'love'.Here, Jesus connects the themes with keeping God'scommandments.

When you hear the words 'keeping God's commandments' do you thinkof a bunch of 'thou shalt nots'? Do you think of a grim-faced Godor grim-faced church people wagging their finger at you, eager totell you what you did wrong this time?

Far from being something negative, God's commandments represent thecovenant between God and God's own people. A covenant is a contractand there are some people who compare God's commandments with amarriage contract between God and humanity. Both parties areexpected to keep up their end of the bargain, but of course peopledon't. Long ago, God promised never to break God's end of thecontract and Christians believe that through Jesus' death,resurrection and ascension that deal is sealed for alleternity.

Yet, although human beings can't keep up their end of the contract,followers of Jesus are still called to try to obey God'scommandments. And today's passage suggests that it is throughJesus, through 'abiding' in his life-giving spirit that a person isgiven the strength to try. When a disciple looks to Jesus' life onearth as a model for human behaviour something happens thatempowers the person to ask Jesus for the ability to imitate him.Jesus' followers become more able to draw on the help he has tooffer.

The final blessing is that Jesus also calls individuals to abide inhis love and to become like the one whom they seek to imitate. Themore you dwell in God's love the more you will know yourself to beloved. And the more you know yourself to be loved the more you willwant to pass on that love with joyful abandon.

To Ponder

What is the connection between the TenCommandments (Exodus 20:1-17) and Jesus' new commandment tohis followers to love one another?

What does it mean to 'abide in Jesus'?

How might 'abiding in Jesus' increase a person'sability to follow God's commandments?

Previous Page Wednesday 05 May 2010
Next Page Friday 07 May 2010