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 15:9-17
Jesus says, “You are my friends!”
Jesus expects friendship with Him to create new impulses.
Remain in my love. vs. 9
Obey my commandments. vs. 10
Love each other. vs. 12, 17
The order matters here:
Remain in my love. Obey my commandments. Love each other.
Without this order, obedience to Jesus will turn into a dance with self-righteousness. All of our efforts to obey Him will turn into religious appeasement crafted with the hope of making ourselves lovable to Him and OK with the world… except that we are so unable to make ourselves loveable and the world’s applause is fickle.
The order starts with love. To remain is to abide, live in, and enjoy the reality of Jesus’ love for us. His love His solid and fully expressed in His life, death, and resurrection. Obedience is a fruit of being gracefully loved by Jesus. He has initiated this divine friendship.
Live loved! Being loved by Jesus brings us into the communion of God. As we deliberately move our thoughts into the Gospel narrative we will discover new impulses given us by the Spirit to continue in His love, to obey His commandments, and to love people.