Last Sunday, 28 August, I preached from John 15:1-11, where Jesus says I’m the True Vine. Verse 11 reads, “I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!” (New Living Translation).
But for us to overflow with the joy of Jesus, we must abide in Jesus, abide in his word and abide in his love (vv.4, 7, 9).
Before returning to the subject of love in his True Vine discourse, in the Upper Room, Jesus had already instructed the Eleven (Judas had already to departed) to love one another–thus proving to a watching world that they are truly his (John 13:34-35).
We must remember one crucial point here. At this juncture, Jesus has the glory of the cross in mind (John 13:31). So these are among his last words to those in whom he had poured into his life.
So why does Jesus return to the subject of love once again? I believe it is because we humans are self-centered and selfish. We must constantly be reminded to serve others selflessly.
Selfishness is our problem.
And putting the interests of others before our own is love. This is what Jesus did in saving us (John 3:16; John 15:13). This is what Jesus did in leaving the glories of heaven for the shame and humiliation of Calvary.
It’s what we must continue to do before a watching world to effect lasting and relevant change. Love is the only way.