John 15 is such a rich summary of what we are called to as imitators/followers/disciples of Christ and Sons and Daughters of God.
4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5″I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
As His followers we must remain in Him. This begs the question: How do we remain in Jesus?
Well, Jesus tells us in the very next two verses:
9″As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
He tells us to remain in His love. And, to remain in His love is to obey His commands.
Does this mean that we need to find all His “commands” throughout the gospels and memorize those and obey them as though they are a new set of laws to follow? Is Jesus telling us that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John deliver the new legal code? What are His commands?
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Now we have a lot to live by. (1) Remain in Jesus by (2) remaining in His love by (3) obeying His command to love each other as He has loved us. But there still remains a question – how did He love us and can we love in that same way?
13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command. 15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 17This is my command: Love each other.
We love each other by laying down our lives and being a friend to others. We must be willing to sacrifice personal gain for the personal gain of others. Just as Christ left heaven and did not count equality with God as something to be grasped to enter our world and take up His cross, we must be willing to do the same. Just as Christ took off His royal robes to don the simple towel of a servant to was our feet, so we must be willing to be slaves to others to take care of their needs. This isn’t a black and white legal code. This is impossible for our minds to draw lines around.
It’s one of those things that is understood and made known more by doing than by defining.
A simple call? Are you doing it? I’m not. But I want to. Do you?