“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. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, 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. 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. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
- How would you describe the ways that Jesus showed his love for his disciples?
- When he asks us to love as he loves, does he mean to only love those who are our friends?
- How did Jesus love the whole world? What makes it difficult for us to love in this same way?
- How does Jesus help us in this difficult call?
- What does it mean to you that Jesus, the Son of God, chooses to call you “friend”?
ARISE & SHINE
Earlier in John 15, Jesus tells us that he is the true vine and says, “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.” He wants us to realize our need and to remain close to our savior. As a branch draws its nourishment from its vine, our abiding in Jesus transforms us, provides for us to follow the call, and gives us a fellowship with God that helps us to remember and believe that we are greatly loved. To continue to abide—to pray and study and walk in his ways—is not a chore, but an invitation to deep friendship with Christ.