Remaining in love and obedience can seem like an odd pairing of commands, especially according to the standards of the world. Yet there is deep wisdom in these words of Jesus. He knows that to obey is to listen -- really listen and hear the heart of his Father in the words of his Father. By remaining at home in his Father's love, Jesus heard the will of his Father. That love fueled his choice and power to act in love, ultimately laying down his life for his friends, including us.
John 15:9-17 (NLT)
“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.
For Reflection and Prayer:
Was there a word, phrase or image which caught your attention you as you listened to or slowly read the text? Quietly reflect on it in your prayer with Jesus. Journal your conversation.
What feelings – either comfortable or uncomfortable - are rising up in you as you listen to this text? Gently bring this awareness into your prayer with Jesus. Listen for how he meets you in these feelings.
Sketch or color a picture of what “remaining” might look like for you.
Savor any consoling words or pictures as you quietly rest in God’s compassion for you.