Scripture for the week: John 15:9-17
Quote for the week: “This is my command: Love each other.”
Remember where we are in history as these comments are being made. Jesus, having just had the last supper with His disciples and knowing that He was about to be arrested and crucified on the cross, is giving the disciples one of their last face-to-face discipling sessions. He has spent much time on the relationship they have with Him and the Father. His repeated message can be stated as, “I am in you and you are in me. I am in the Father and He is in Me. The Father loves the son and the Father loves you. You are loved by me and by the Father.” A great love fest! He has also made it very clear that the power to love comes from Him and the Father alone; they are THE source of the power of love.
Yes, He has asked for their love, but it is a redemptive love, a love that actually flows from Him, one that only requires acceptance. So what is the message for the disciples? “Love each other.” Once again back to the source. Can they do it on their own? Not any more than you or I can. He wants them to understand that He will give them the power to love. How? By the message He has shared in the last two chapters. To summarize, “Because I live in the Father and He lives in me. I and the Father are one just as you and I are one.” We can love each other only through the power of Jesus, because we are one with Him. We continue to die to self and allow HIM to live. That is the meaning of “I in Him and Him in us.” It is NOT that we are getting any better; He is allowing the flesh to die and taking on everything we allow Him to take. Loving others is the biggest command. Why? Because only He can do it, and when we love with His love, others will see Him and HE will be glorified.
Prayer for the week: Father, today allow your Son to be my life. Allow my self to die and you to be glorified.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. 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. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”
John 15:9-17 (NIV)