Summary: We are commanded by Christ Jesus to love each other.
No Greater Love
John 15: 9 - 17
Intro: Things that make you go HMMMMMM! Why is it a compliment to tell a woman she looks like a breath of spring; but, not to tell her she looks like the end of a hard winter? / Why does it please a woman when you say time stands still when you look into her eyes; but, not when you say her face would stop a clock? / Why do people punish a child for lying but tell the same child who answers the phone, “Just tell them I’m not home.” / Why is it that when the speaker says, “In closing” . . . but then they go on for another 10 minutes. / Why is it that when a speaker “needs no introduction” they get one anyway. These and many other things make me go, HMMMMMM!
I This passage from John is complicated that explains God’s love for us and how we are to love. It is yet another of those things that makes me go, HMMMMM!
A In VSS 9 – 10 Jesus explains how love comes from God to Jesus and from Jesus to us and how it is undeserved and appears to be one directional.
B Jesus does say that we must love Him; but that we must love each other and by doing that we will show that we love Him.
C The “love” mentioned here is ??apa? / agapao. It is a word not found in classical GK but only in a religious context. It relates to finding one’s joy in something or someone by doing what the one who loves feels the one being loved needs not necessarily what they desire.
II VSS. 13 – 15 Jesus speaks of friends and friendship. This is another of those things that makes me go, HMMMMM! What IS a friend? There are really three marks of a TRUE friend:
A A true friend will give and give not what you desire; but, what you need. They are not people who are useful to us and our future.
B A true friend will be frank, unhesitating in opening their heart and mind to you W/O shyness or secretiveness. They will tell it like it is trusting that you will understand their motive is not to hurt but to help.
C A true friend trusts and risks seeking nothing in return. They do not attempt to dominate or possess; but, are fiercely loyal even to the point of death.
III VS. 16 `You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit --- fruit that will last --- and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
A Yet, another thing that makes me go, HMMMM! BEING CHOSEN When Jack was a kid, he dreaded when his class went on the playground and the teacher assigned 2 students to choose a team to play kick ball. Jack knew what that meant. He would be one of the last to be chosen because of his inability to kick the ball far.
B The GK word here is ?????? / ekelg? which has several translations possible. A commonalty in meanings involves preference and choice from among many / selected / called / chosen.
C Most individuals who unite with a church feel they have chosen to become a member and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior. When, in reality the opposite is true. It is God who does the choosing according to VS. 16
Concl: Often we pray to God as though we have a right to ask b/c of VS 16b – “and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
If you are ALWAYS cheerful, calm, and exceedingly joyful / if you ALWAYS consider others as dear friends whose needs you ALWAYS place above your own / if you ALWAYS live your life as though you have been chosen by God to ALWAYS put the needs of other ahead of your own / if you are ALWAYS will to die for others; THEN, AND ONLY THEN, WILL THE FATHER GIVE YOU WHATEVER YOU ASK IN THE NAME OF CHRIST JESUS.
So, if you have asked God for something and it didn’t happen; perhaps the problem isn’t with God; but with you.