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Peace From Jesus

John 14:27

Parting words have a special significance. Before Jesus left the upper room, anticipating His arrest and crucifixion, He left a promise of peace. Although the few days would be unbelievably turbulent, He wanted their hearts to be at rest and contented. The world, flesh and devil would tempt them to be afraid but He wanted them to know that every circumstance was in God’s control.

The Pain Of Leaving

John 14:28-31

Instinctively, we hate leaving what we know and love; we intensely dislike bereavement and death is a real enemy. However, if we know that leaving one job will enable us to do a job which suits our gifting better, then we are glad. No parent likes children to leave home, but knows that unless they go, it will be impossible for them to mature and fulfil their vocation. Jesus knew that the disciples were growing anxious as He spoke about His death and return to the Father, so He wanted them to know that leaving would bring great blessing.

The Vine, The Gardener And The Branches

John 15:1-4

Jesus was speaking to His disciples who would soon be the leaders of the church. Using the imagery of a vine, He taught the disciples that they had to be closely related to Him. They often saw vines, which were an essential part of Israel’s economy, and they would have remembered that the nation had been described as a useless vine (Hosea 10:1-2). Now Jesus likened Himself to a new vine-stem which was rooted in the ground.

Fruit, Much Fruit Or No Fruit

John 15:5-8

Jesus likened Himself to the vine-stem, and the disciples to being branches. A vineyard that produces no grapes is worthless and branches which do not fruit well are useless to the farmer. If there is a strong connection between the branches and the vine, the harvest will be great. If not, the branches have demonstrated that they are not fit for purpose and should be removed.

Love, Obedience And Joy

John 15:9-11

When people are close to us we may take them for granted. We may abuse the relationship in some way without realising how our own selfish demands destroy mutual love and respect. Jesus told His disciples that it was love which drove His relationship with the Father, and with them. That love was not a sentimental emotion often portrayed in films, but a deep heart passion to please the other person. That was why Jesus came to earth - to do the Father’s will (John 14:31).

Friendship, Love And Sacrifice

John 15:12-15

True love always involves sacrifice, because pleasing the other person (and that is the essence of love), will not always be convenient to us. The greatest love is totally sacrificial and that is how Jesus has shown His love to us. He expects us to love Him and others in the same way.

Chosen For Fruitfulness Through Love

John 15:16-17

Jesus had chosen the disciples and not the other way around. They were under His Royal Appointment. They had not arrived in the Upper Room to share the Last Supper because they thought it was a good idea, but because they had responded obediently to Christ’s call on their lives. Having already dismissed the traitor, Judas Iscariot, to do his evil work, the Lord then focussed on those who would be the apostolic leaders of the Church. “Go and bear fruit – fruit that will last”.

Hated With Christ

John 15:18-19

The disciples had enjoyed sharing the public’s approval of Jesus, and were about to see the worst of people’s hatred. It was great training for the apostles (the contrast between their popularity in Acts 2:47 and their persecution in Acts 8:1 showed them what was to come). So Jesus prepared them for the hatred they would have to endure.

Hating Without Knowing

John 15:20-21

The sufferings of Jesus are not just a nice symbol of love and sacrifice; they are also a part of the life of everyone who follows Jesus, in some way or another. If Jesus suffered hatred from the world, why should we be exempt? Those who loved the teaching of Jesus, would also love the teaching of the apostles; but those whose selfish natures are insulted by the command of Christ to repent and follow Him, will resent those who preach to them.

Jesus Brings Guilt To The Surface

John 15:22-25

Although ignorance of the law cannot make anyone innocent, knowledge of the law removes any excuse - as sin is brought to the surface and guilt is exposed. The miracles and teaching of Jesus were so unique that everybody should have recognised that God was amongst them. But the reaction of most people was to resist His authority over them, thus confirming their guilt. In a few hours after saying these words, Jesus would be the object of vicious hatred as He was unfairly tried, cruelly beaten and crucified to death.