Last week looked at how Jesus is our source and our need to stay connected with him. He empowers us to live for him. Jesus used the word remain-remain in him. He is the vine and we are the branches. A branch depends on the vine for everything.
Jesus expands on that in John 15:9:
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.”
Remaining in Jesus is based on love. First there is the love between God the Father and Jesus. Out of that comes Jesus’s love for us. He calls us to remain in his love. He does not call us to remain in him out of fear of punishment if we don’t. He calls us to remain in his love.
He then equates loving him with obeying his commands. If we love Jesus, we will follow through with what he teaches us to do. But what exactly does he command us to do?
In John 15:12 we read:
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
He then goes on to explain what kind of love he is talking about.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Jesus is talking about the self sacrificing love that he himself showed for us. The kind of love that compels a person to lay down their life for a friend. That is what Jesus did for us. Self sacrificing love is expressed in many ways. Perhaps it is taking time to listen to someone having trouble. It can mean giving to someone in need instead of having a meal in a restaurant. There are many ways to show sacrificial love. When Jesus says greater love has no one than this, he is giving the ultimate example of sacrificial love.
Notice Jesus used the word friends. He goes on to say:
You are my friends if you do what I command.
If we love one another with the love of Jesus, we are his friends. No one does that perfectly. As John wrote in his letter 1st John in 1 John 4:19:
We love because he first loved us.
First we experience the love of Jesus, Then we can show his love.
Even though Jesus is the creator, our savior, and is deserving of us being his servants, Jesus said:
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.
He calls us friend not servant. Notice what he says about friendship. He makes known to use what the Father showed him. He lets us in on his business. He includes us in his work.
He concludes this section by repeating his command- Love each other.
What a privilege that Jesus calls us friend. Anyone who believes in Jesus he calls friend. His command is to love one another with sacrificial love.
How does that make you feel to know Jesus says- FRIEND?
Thank you for reading. God Bless.