John 15:9-27

John 15:9-27 has Jesus continuing to pour truth out for His disciples.  He makes it clear that obedience is a key to remaining in His love.  “If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love”.  There is at times a focus on moving away from obedience to grace.  If we only believe in Jesus, we are saved and we don’t have to worry about how we live.  That isn’t quite how grace works.  Jesus paid the price for our sin on the cross.  So the belief yields salvation part of grace is right.  But the second part of our relationship with Jesus is Lordship, where He comes in and takes over the control of our life.  That is where obedience becomes the goal.

Jesus does want us to obey and keep His commands.  That is how we walk with Him.  And understanding that is a part of maturing in the faith.  “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature”.  He desires that we become mature and joy filled, but that happens only when we live in obedience to Him.  And it is about much more than me receiving Him as Savior.  He gave us strong direction on how to live.  “This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you”.

So how do we do that?  He was clear about that as well.  “This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends”.  Loving others is all about being willing to sacrifice self to take care of them.  It is about others first, and a willingness to love them like Jesus loved us.  What did Jesus do?  He took our sin and died on the Cross for us.  He was willing to step in the gap and carry the burden for us.  That is how He modeled love for us and has commanded us to love others the same way.

He also is very clear that not everyone will love us.  In fact, many will come to hate us. Part of that relates to our choices to be obedient to God’s commands and living differently than the world.  If we gave in and just went with the flow of whatever the world is doing, it would be fine.  But when we follow God’s commands, we stick out and cause others to face the reality of their choices.  “If you lived on the world’s terms, the world would love you as one of its own. But since I picked you to live on God’s terms and no longer on the world’s terms, the world is going to hate you”.  Following Jesus isn’t easy, but it is what He has called us to do.


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