Read John 15:1-16:6
I am the true vine . . . (15:1)
With that statement, He invited His followers to remain steadfast to Him, the only way to the Father. Jesus reminded them of the truth: the only way to do what Almighty God wanted was through Him.
Remain. Abide. Don’t forget the truth of Whose you are. The truth to which you were called.
Jesus laid out several promises for not only the remaining eleven disciples, but He also gave them to us, His followers today.
▪ If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit (v5).
▪ If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you (v7).
▪ This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples (v8).
▪ If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love (v10).
All of them good and perfect promises. Each one a reason to abide in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Then the promises took a turn and got difficult, at best.
▪ If they persecuted Me, they will persecute you also (v20).
▪ They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God (16:2).
And suddenly, we get a pretty clear picture of why it’s so important to remain in Jesus’ love, to hang in there with Him and endure.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete (15:11).
The joy that Jesus knew included full disclosure on His untimely death and shameful suffering. His was a joy different from any we might otherwise never know. But Jesus wanted us to know it. He wanted you and me to have His joy, unedited. Completely. So He told us how to get it.
Remain. Follow His ways. Know Him. Trust Him — His timing, His words, His ways. Wait on Him. Bring Him glory.
See, Jesus knew that His disciples, and we, would one day be persecuted because we followed Him. He also knew real joy, real life. He knew that following His ways and acting in His name, letting Him change us and use us for His glory, was real joy. The kind of joy that fills life. A fuller joy than any earthly approval would ever bring.
Here we are again, faced with the truth of the kind of life He came to give. The life that only comes through Jesus Christ.