Wednesday, June 28

John 15:1-17 (ESV)

I Am the True Vine

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 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. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants,[a] for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.


Reflection

"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have

loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay

down his life for his friends."

What a powerful image we have in the death of our Savior. He

died because he loved us and his death is an example of how to

love others fully. Would we ever be willing to return that kind of

love to him or to anyone else?

Instead, Jesus wants us to listen to him and to do what he

commands. Here, Jesus calls us to be his branches, to go out

each day as he has appointed us and to bear his fruit. But it is

not enough just to be his branches, spreading his Word and his

commandments. We must also have the love of Jesus in our

hearts and share that love with each and every person we

encounter.

Wouldn't it just be easier if Jesus said something like, "Go and

love the people you choose!" But he does not want us to choose

to love only the people who are kind to us, or who act like us, or

who think like us. He wants us to love everyone as he loved us.

That means sacrifice, and commitment, and looking beyond

mistakes and imperfections. Because Jesus died for us, we have

the love of Christ within us. It is up to us to share that love with

one another.

 


Prayer

Dear God, help us to mirror your love in our daily lives. Give us

humble hearts, and help us persevere when it feels tough to love

one another. In Jesus' name, Amen.

 

Written by Sam Neahring

Director of Children and Family Ministries

sneahring@stjohns-springfield.org