John 15:9–17 NRSV – As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 15:10 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. 15:11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 15:12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 15:13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 15:14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15:15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 15:16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 15:17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
Summary – Jesus was speaking these words at the Last Supper in the Upper Room with His disciples. John 15 begins with words about Jesus being the vine and we are branches. In this second reading of this chapter He urged them to love one another so that His joy would be in us and our joy would be complete (very similar to the language of the first Epistle of John). His love would be a life-sacrificing love – He would actually die for his friends, for us. This is an example for all believers. The result of living this way would be that we would bear fruit that would remain. Specifically that “the Father will give you whatever you ask him in” Jesus name.
Insight – Have you ever picked fruit just off the tree or bush or vine? Like raspberries, blueberries, apples or pears? Did you sample what you were picking? The tastiest fruit is straight off the plant. If you had been sitting with Jesus and the disciples in the Upper Room you would have seen the “fruit of the vine” in the cups on the table. As Jesus is speaking about the fruit from a grape vine He illustrates that He is the source of spiritual life, just like the root or vine is the source for branches that bear fruit. If they “abide” and stay connected to Him, the sweet fruit that they will bear is the fruit of love for one another. The best fruit we can bear is loving community life since this reflects His love with the Father and the Spirit. This fruit is what we should ask the Father to give to our community.
Child Catechism – What is His commandment? That you love one another as I have loved you.
Discussion – What are some specific ways you could love your family better? Your church members better? Your neighbors better?
Prayer – Our Father we thank you for providing Jesus, the Source of our Life, so that we might bear fruit. Grant that we who are your children may bear the fruit of love for one another so that the world may see Jesus in us. In Christ’s Name, Amen.