John 15:9-17 (ESV Strong’s Bible)
9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
I am hoping to cover verses 9-17 in this message but I am in doubt because of the immense richness of these verses. there is so much to learn. We have just learned from verse 1-8 that those Christians that are truly believers, continue to remain or abide in Jesus and that way, they are able to produce fruits that glorify God. We also learned that throughout this process, God will discipline them from time to time to ensure that they continue to bear even much fruit. We also learned that false believers will eventually be cut off and thrown into the fire.
Now I want you to split verses 9-17 into two. On one side there is God and Jesus, and on the other side there is Jesus and his disciples. See, how Jesus does to his disciples what God has done to him. The two are very parallel.
Now in this verse, verse 9, Jesus tells his disciples that he has loved them as God has loved him. Jesus is giving the same love to his disciples as God has given him. Therefore, the standard of Jesus’s love to his disciples is God’s love. Jesus loves his disciples as God has loved him. This is one side.
Another side is, Notice how in verse 12, Jesus commands his disciples love one another as He has loved them. Do you see that? The standard of the disciples’s love for one another is Jesus’s love. Therefore, eventually the standard of love is God’s love. Why? Because if Jesus loves his disciples as God has loved him and his disciples loves each other as Jesus loved them, then the standard of love is God’s love. If A is equals to B and B is equals to C, then A is equals to C. That is the standard of love and that standard is eventually God but Jesus said his disciplines must love each other as he has loved them.
Jesus then told them in verse 13 that there is no greater love, than someone dying on behalf of a friend. The ultimate show of love is loosing your life in place of someone whom you love. This is what Jesus was going to do and has done and Jesus says, that is how much I have loved you and that is how much you will love each other. God loved the world so much, he gave his only son. Jesus loved his disciples so much he gave his life. The disciples must love each other so much that they can also give their life’s for one another if need be.
Therefore God loved Jesus, Jesus loved his disciples and his disciples must love one another. We are also his disciplines those that beleive in him and likewise, we must love one another as Jesus loved us. Jesus loved us as God loved him and we must love one another just like Jesus loved us by dying on the cross for us. Likewise, we must be prepared to die for one another for there is no greater love than that.
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.
After telling them about love and the standard of love, Jesus then commandmed them to abide or remain in his love. The very next question is but how can we remain in Jesus’s love? Jesus then answered that question by saying you will remain in my love if you keep my commandments. Which commandments is Jesus reffering to, he is reffering to all the commandments that both him and God have given. From the Genesis to Malachi and including the commandments that Jesus himself gave. If the disciples keep these commandments, they will abide in his love.
Notice that Jesus tells them that he also keeps God’s commandments and that is why He also abides in God’s love. Again here you see the two sides. Jesus keeps God’s commandments and therefore continues to remaini in God’s love. Likewise, we must keep Jesus’s commandments if we are to continue to remain in his love.
Again you see here God and Jesus and Jesus and his disciples.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
Jesus then tells them that as much as he has joy from obeying God, he is passing that joy to us who choose to obey him so that we may have joy in abundance for obeying him.
We have seen how Jesus has loved us as God loved him and we have seen how Jesus passed on that same love to us and commanded us to pass it on to one another. We have seen how Jesus obeys God’s commandments and remain in God’s love as a result, and how Jesus commanded us to obey his commandments if we are to remain in his love. We have seen how much joy Jesus has because he obeys God and how he passes on that joy to us who choose to obey him so that we may be full of joy as well.
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.
We have already discussed this commandment of love in verses 12-13. Jesus said in verse 13 that there is no greater love than for one to die on behalf of a friend. Jesus does not stop there, he then defines what he considers as a friend. Jesus said we are only his friends if we keep or obey his commandments.
15 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.
In John 5:20 Jesus said that God loves him because he shows him all that he is doing and will show him even greater things. Here Jesus once more does to his disciples or us what God does to him. Jesus once more has passed all the information that he has recieved from God to us. This shows us that we are no longer servants to him but his friends.
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.
Jesus then told them that they must be aware that they did not choose him but he chose them. Jesus chose us, we did not choose him. He came to us, we did not go to him. Jesus did not only choose us but he appointed us, he gave us a task, a job and that job is to go and bear fruit and not only temporary food but, food that remains.
The benefit of this is that what ever we ask of God, if we bear fruit that remains, he may give it to us. Although I love ESV bible translation, I beleive here they may have translated the Greek wrongly. In Mt 7:7, John 11:22 and 16:23, Jesus says that if we ask anything in his name, God will give it to us. In verse 16 above, again Jesus says that if we ask anything in his name, God will give it to us but, the ESV bible that I am using says “he may” give it to us. This is unfortunate and I beleive is a wrong translation because it is incosistent with the rest of scripture. So we can take it to mean that if we ask anything in Jesus’s name, when we bear fruits that remain, God will give it to us.
Notice as well how Jesus says that he has appointed us to “GO” and produce fruits. The word “go” indicates that bearing fruits is not only about beleiving in Jesus but it is also about the acts that we do that must at all times, glorify God.
Jesus then concludes this section by saying that he is telling the disciples all these things and us, so that we may love one another.