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JOHN 15: 1-17
INTRODUCTION: I am told about this newspaper in England giving a reward for the best definition of what is a friend?
Thousands answered, the winner?
"A FRIEND IS ONE THAT COMES WHEN EVERYONE ELSE GOES.”
JACKIE ROBINSON was the first African American to play baseball in the major leagues. Breaking baseball’s color barrier, he faced hostile crowds in every stadium. While playing one day in his home stadium of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, he committed an error. The fans began to jeer him. He stood at second base, humiliated, while the crowd booed. Then, without saying a word, shortstop Pee Wee Reese went over and stood next to Jackie. He put his arm around him and faced the crowd. Suddenly the fans grew quiet. Robinson later said that that arm around his shoulder saved his career.
TRANSITION THOUGTH: Friendship! Who can live without friendship? Today we celebrate the gift of friendship as we gather here together with our friends. Can you imagine being Jackie Robinson, sticking out like a sore thumb, as the crowd booed him? Can you imagine the loneliness, the awkwardness, and the anxiety? Then along came Pee Wee Reese! Can you imagine the relief, the peace, the warmth, and the comfort? In our text today, we hear this same story again. A group of awkward, anxious, and probably fearful disciples have just gotten the word that their leader was about to check out and they would be left alone. They had followed in the hope of a Kingdom and a Kingdom would come, but not as they thought. They needed a friend and Jesus teaches that HE truly is their friend. BUT, will they be HIS friends? The real issue of this text is not if Jesus is our friend or not, but if we will choose Friendship with Jesus! It was the same for the disciples and this is where we begin.
THESIS SENTENCE: JESUS IS OUR FRIEND!
IF JESUS IS OUR FRIEND, WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE FOR US TO BE A FRIEND TO JESUS?
I. FRIENDSHIP WITH JESUS IS ABOUT STAYING IN THERE/CONNECTING (REMAIN)!
Have you ever felt like you really connected with someone? Isn’t this when a real and lasting friendship begins? I know it is! In the connecting, we understand friendship! For Jesus, Connecting is Remaining in Him!
A. Remaining is about a mutual relationship.
1. The actual GK word MENO is defined as to stay in a given place, state, relationship, or expectancy. It also bears out the idea of continuity and dwelling. 2. With that said, I am confused now, but Jesus is saying, “You hang with me and I will hang with you!”
3. Verse 4 is the key: “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.”
4. Now the discussion is about a vine with a branch growing from it. For the gardeners in our bunch, you might have a better grasp on what is being said.
B. Remaining is about sharing the work.
1. Have you and a friend ever accomplished some work together. Maybe you built a barn, worked on a car, organized a meeting, cleaned a basement, or whatever. Wasn’t it more fun to do it together than to have done it alone? Has a friend ever completed a task for you that you may have started but couldn’t complete? 2. This is what Jesus is talking about in verse 4. We get to work together, but we can’t do it unless we stay connected.
C. Remaining is about staying alive.
1. The reality of what Jesus is teaching is that if we don’t stay connected, we aren’t going
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