Topic: Love Passage: 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.
To see this sermon in the context of the larger entire worship service, please open this bulletin.