I don't know how many of you have read John 15. It's pretty amazing.
Remember that these are some of the things Jesus said to His disciples after the Passover meal, as He walked along in the dark of night to the Garden of Gethsemane,
He knew it was a matter of a few hours before He would be taken from them & killed.
I don't think He was speaking in hyperbole, nor was He micing words with the disciples as they walked along.
I could imagine them walking along & then Jesus stopping & saying something else to them.
But evidently these words were some of what John remembered from that night. I'm sure there were more which he didn't record.
But brace yourself – these 17 verses – about 66% of what He said in chapter 15 – are earth shaking.
Read it once or twice right now – 3 times would be better.
And then read it every day for the next week.
1 "I am the true grapevine,
and my Father is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn't produce fruit,
and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more.
(dan note: I've always found that part of verse 2 interesting – we often look at God's “pruning” in our lives more as punishment rather than affirmation.)
3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you.
4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you.
For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine,
and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5 "Yes, I am the vine;
you are the branches.
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit.
For apart from me you can do nothing.
6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers.
Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.
7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you,
you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!
8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples.
This brings great glory to my Father.
9 "I have loved you even as the Father has loved me.
Remain in my love.
10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love,
just as I obey my Father's commandments and remain in his love.
11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.
Yes, your joy will overflow!
12 This is my commandment:
Love each other in the same way I have loved you.
13 There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I 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.
16 You 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.
17 This is my command: Love each other.