9“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!
12This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command.
15I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17This is my command: Love each other. John 15:1-17
Jesus says, “You are my friends!”
Jesus initiates friendship.
I have loved you, even as the Father has loved me. vs. 9
I have told you everything the Father told me. vs. 15
I chose you. vs. 16
I appointed you to bear lasting fruit. vs. 16
In a world of pick and choose I’m often astonished that we have a problem with the reality of love and choice going together. Part of the mystery of the Gospel comes down to this: Jesus choses us. It comes down to nothing but grace. No achievements, no class, no race, no self-righteousness, no good looks swayed the opinion of God towards us. As followers of Jesus we maintain the tension between the reality of our sinfulness and the amazing grace of His choice to include us in His band of brothers and sisters.