August 11, 2019 Preacher: Amanda Bakale
Topic: Love Scripture: John 15:1–15:17
Most people today are not very familiar with grape vines and vinyards, unless they own or work in a vinyard themselves. However, vines were familiar to people in ancient Israel, and the Old Testament prophets used vine and vinyard imagery extensively in their writings. In this passage, Jesus used a vine metaphor to describe the relationship between him and his followers.
As an extension of this metaphor, Jesus gave a command to his disciples, and to us. We are not just to love him, but we are also to love one another as he loves us. This is a very difficult command to us to follow; all of us know fellow believers who we find easier to dislike, or even to despise, than to love. However, we are all interconnected--we are all branches on the vine--and therefore we must love one another.
There are three things to take note of here:
- Loving others (as Jesus calls us to love them) and liking them are two different things.
- Jesus referred to pruning in this passage; loving those we don't like is a large part of this pruning process.
- While our ability to love others is finite and flawed, we are rooted in Jesus, the one whose love is infinite and perfect.
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