John 15:9-10 (NIV) 9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
On verses 9-10: What does it mean to remain in Jesus’ love, as verse 9 says? Remaining in Jesus’ love (or as some translations say, to “abide” in Jesus’ love) means to stay in tune with Jesus, to keep trusting in Jesus and to obey Jesus’ commands (v10). Just as Jesus kept in tune with his Father and did not stop obeying his Father’s commands, so Jesus tells us to do the same. In doing this we will bear much fruit (v5).
So what happens when we mess up and disobey? Does it mean that we are cut off from Jesus? Fortunately, it is Jesus’ obedience to the Father that keeps us connected to God, not our own effort. So if you mess up and sin after a season of bearing fruit in Jesus, don’t condemn yourself or give up. Remember that it is Jesus’ faithfulness in the end that keeps us connected to God.
John 15:11 (NIV) 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
On verse 11: Jesus gives this extended metaphor of him being the vine and us being the branches not to burden us but to give us his joy that completes us and satisfies us. Abiding in Jesus and staying in close relationship with him is the key to real joy and peace in life.
John 15:12 (NIV) 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
On verse 12: Jesus calls us to treat each other in the highest way: to love each other the way that Jesus has loved us.
John 15:13 (NIV) 13 Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
On verse 13: No one will ever show you greater love than Jesus. Because he calls you his friend, Jesus laid down his life for you.
John 15:14 (NIV) 14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
On verse 14: Is Jesus being especially demanding when he says “You are my friends if you do what I command”? Isn’t that what bossy kids do when they say, “I’ll only be friends with you if you always do things my way”? You need to understand that Jesus is no ordinary human being. He is the king and we are his subjects. Part of being Jesus’ friend is to do what he commands.
John 15:15-16 (NIV) 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
On verses 15-16: But Jesus made us not simply to be his servants who follow orders. He made us to be his friends and partners, who are involved in the family business and are aware of what the Father is up to (v15), who bear fruit for the greater good of the family (v16a), and who experience the joy of God working in our lives and answering our prayers (v16b).
Another lesson I learn from this passage is that your life is not an accident.You are specifically chosen by God for a purpose: to go and bear lasting fruit for Jesus (v16).
John 15:17 (NIV) 17 This is my command: Love each other.
On verse 17: What is the command that Jesus this king of kings tells us to obey: it’s the command to love one another. Since Jesus gives this command in the context of talking about us bearing fruit, we can say that bearing fruit for Jesus is not just about reading our Bibles and going to church. It’s about loving others well (v17).
Thank You Jesus that I am chosen and appointed to bear fruit for You. Thank You that I am not just Your servant; I am also Your friend. Thank You for making me a partner in the family business. May I bear the most important fruit of loving others well in my life. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!