April 28, 2011 - Great Love
In John 15, Jesus gives the powerful command: Love one another. Jesus loves God and us, and gave all things into his hand; and yet so loved the world as to deliver him for us all. When Christ was entering his sufferings he comforted himself with this knowledge, that his Father loved him. Greater proof of love has no man to show than this, to lay down his life for his friend (Henry). Christ’s love is a forever kind of love.
The producing fruit reference we can understand as the fruit from Galatians 5: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. These are tangible qualities Jesus challenges us to produce. These characteristics reflect his love and allow others to see Christ’s great love through us.
The story isn’t over. Jesus has risen and is advocating for us, but there is still love happening here on earth. The Comforter is coming! We aren’t alone to produce the fruit of love. The spirit is among us encouraging and guiding us. “The spirit or breath of man, called the breath of life, proceeds from the man, and by it modified he delivers his mind, by it invigorated he sometimes exerts his strength to blow out what he would extinguish, and blow up what he would excite. Thus the blessed Spirit is the emanation of divine light, and the energy of divine power” (Henry).
We are called to continue in his great love, from verse 9, "Continue in your love to me, and in mine to you. We must place our happiness in the continuance of Christ’s love to us, and make it our business to give continued proofs of our love to Christ, that nothing may tempt us to withdraw from him, or provoke him to withdraw from us. All that love Christ should continue in their love to him, that is, be always loving him, and taking all occasions to show it, and love to the end” (Henry).
Christ desires a personal relationship with us. There is a “triad of love” (Fredrickson) between us, God the Father and God the Son. Christ offers the kind of love that produces real joy, not temporary purchased happiness. The disciples were chosen and called to continue Christ’s mission on earth. Today, we are called to continue the mission of love. Christ death empowers us to carry out his work.
Father, help me to love all people, those easy to love and those hard to love. Help me continue your love. Produce good fruit out of your love in my heart. Amen.
Fredrickson, R. (1985). The Communicators Commentary. Word Books, vol. 4.
Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry Bible Commentary on the whole Bible. Biblestudytools.com
The Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible. Matthew-John. 1991. Leadership Ministries Worldwide. Vol. #1