As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.John 15:9-17
This week the Bible Study Group will look at John 15:9-17 – a follow on from last week’s reading from John. I have been struck by the idea that I am a friend of Jesus. Most likely because I do not have a lot of friends, real friends, and not the variety that goes by the modern term.
Friendship suggests an intimacy. The readings from the last three Sundays have all spoken of the intimacy between Jesus and the individual. An intimacy beyond ideas – a personal intimacy. The opposite is the servant or slave. The friend is motivated by intimacy while the servant does things out of fear or in a desire for a reward. So the command to love is set within the context of this friendship, this intimacy, between Jesus and the individual. Not because I have to but because I want to, do I love! Just like Jesus who goes willing to the cross for me.
Looking forward to the study!