This week in our daily readings, we are going to be looking at John 15: 10-17. This coming Sunday in worship at St. Matthew’s, we will be celebrating Laity Sunday. In this service, the laypeople of our church will be leading in many of the normal tasks of worship within our church. Because of that, this week we will be looking deeper at the passage that shows us where we all get our life – from Jesus.
Today, when we look at the text, there are a couple of things that we want to look at.
We are told early on to “obey” these commandments. It is interesting that the word for “obey” in this context resembles another concept, pay attention. And the word commands actually is a word the references the Mosesic covenant, this “command” is much the same to us as the commands to the priests would have been.
It is so interesting to me that this here is very Jewish. The Jewish people are to “pay attention” to the commands of God, with great, great reverence. We, as followers of Jesus, are commanded to not just have a surface level of appreciation for Jesus’ commands for us, but we are to revere them, to honor them, to hold them close to our hearts. To bind them to our very identity. We are to hold Jesus’ command to heart as in that very way.
Well, what is that command? To love each other. This form of love that Jesus uses here (love as lots of forms in the Greek language) is one that points to welcome and embrace. It is interesting to me that this language here, and with friends, points to almost that of the hospitality of a wedding. At a wedding, the couple would go out of their way to make sure the guess had every need/want met. That is in many ways what “love” is here.
Friends, the word for friends references the friend of the groom who would go and meet the bride before the ceremony. This was the closest, most trusted person to the groom. That is who we become to Jesus, and who we should be to each other. That level of love, of trust, of community. It’s more than just hanging out with someone. It truly loving another in the same love and embrace that Jesus has for us.
We are told to remain in Him. It is interesting to me, that word almost references waiting. To exist in. It’s a forming image. The farmer doesn’t rush the crop, it comes in God’s due time. The branches exist and draw their very life from the vine. Without it simply will not exist. Neither will we without Jesus.
And if we live in Jesus, we will pay attention to His command. Love.
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