Day 12: Loving Each Other

John 15:15-17
“I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.” 

Let’s start today with an exchange we’ve all grown accustomed to hearing:
“Why?” “Because I said so!”

Do you remember hearing this as a child, or saying it to your own? This phrase often gets a bad rap; it’s not always the worst thing! But it does point to the relational dynamic and authority one has in another’s life.

In today’s passage, Jesus is finishing up His explanation of abiding, remaining in relationship with Him, how we keep His commands, and how to love one another well. And He ends it by describing to His disciples the type of relationship He desires to have with them.

Jesus tells them that He intends to have friendship with His disciples; a relationship in which we know fully the mission and desire of God and partner with Him in His work. This is much more than blind servanthood. Though God has every right to tell us, “because I said so,” He made it so that we could be friends partnering together toward a goal.

The last verse is translated in a way that may lead us to different conclusions than the way it was written in the original Greek. It may be more accurately translated: “These things I command you, that you love one another.”

And this is reflected in some other English translations of the Bible. At first glance, this may seem like semantics - but the difference actually points to what Jesus is trying to communicate in the verses before it.

If Jesus is saying, “This is my command: love one another,” He’s telling the disciples what to do (servants). But if Jesus is saying, “These things I command you, that you love another.” He’s telling them why (friends).

The point of today’s passage is this: because we are God’s friends, He invites us to partner toward a goal with Him. And the goal is that by our love for one another, we would invite others to desire and step into the same.

Prayer Prompts:
  1. Reflect: Does the love you express for all of God’s other friends - your brothers and sisters in Christ - invite others who do not know the Lord to walk in friendship with God? Helpful passages we’ve read throughout these 21 days are Galatians 5:22-23 and John 15:13.
  2. Repent: If you’ve struggled to show love and point people to Jesus (especially outside of the Christian faith) ask God to forgive you for a lack of love for His friends - your brothers and sisters in Christ or those who don’t call Him Lord.
  3. Restore: Ask God to bring to mind those He wants you to restore a relationship with out of reverence for Him. Ask Him to help you to do that with wisdom, tact, and most importantly, love.
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