Last month, we took a moment to “check our connection” with Jesus in the gospel of John, Chapter 15. In that devotion, we said, “fruitfulness and joy in life come from the practice of dependent prayer.” Moreover, in our closing, we looked forward to the rest of that section to John 15, verses 12-17. Here they are.
John 15:12–17 (English Standard Version)
12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
I know what you’re thinking. To command someone to love another feels coerced, forced, or manipulating. However, remember Jesus and other Bible writers often use commands as a way of saying ‘since a is true then b is true.’ So it is in this text.
Jesus has already established that love for one another is in the disciples because of their abiding in the vine of Jesus (verses 1-11), and so it is only natural that they do(take action) love one another. The question then remaining is, how does this love manifest itself? Read verse 13 again. “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” Wow! Because we are reading this from the vantage point of 2000 years after these events, we can see that Jesus is calling his disciples to love one another in the same way that he loved them when he went to the cross of Calvary and laid down his life for his friends. In verse 16 Jesus tells his disciples that he chose them for this very purpose, that this type of sacrificial love for one another is what it means to bear fruit by being possessing an intimate relationship with him. Jesus has chosen and empowered his disciples for the labor of loving one another.
So then, what does all this mean for us at HealthKeeperz? It at least suggests that when we say we intend to care for all people for the glory of God, this caring will manifest itself in some sacrificial act and we will be empowered by the very Author of love. To say it another way, when it is our goal to love one another as Christ Jesus has loved us we will have the resources of heaven at our full disposal to accomplish this glorious mission because the power to do so flows directly from Jesus as we cultivate our intimate connection with Him through prayer.
May the Holy Spirit strengthen us in our endeavor of caring for all people for the glory of God.
Yours in Christ,
Chaplain James Chavis