August 29, 2018
John 15:16-25 New Living Translation (NLT)
I really enjoy eating fresh fruit; all different kinds of fruit. Every week I look forward to checking out the produce section at the grocery store or market to decide what fruit looks good. I pick a specific fruit by the appearance, but sadly a few days later it no longer looks the same nor smells the same. Disconnecting the fruit from the life-giving vine causes it to begin the spoilage process. Wouldn’t it be nice if the fruit we pick, pay for, and take home stayed fresh?
In our passage today, Jesus reminds the disciples that he chose them and appointed them to bear lasting fruit; fruit that stays fresh, ripe, and inspiring for eternity. In fact, Jesus connects lasting fruit developed in us with receiving answered prayer. That is a great lesson and one beautiful reason to remain connected to Christ—our True Vine. The lasting fruit Jesus is talking about in this passage is not bananas, apples, or berries; rather it is love. Our love is not to spoil or diminish in power. We are to hold onto our love in spite of how we are treated in the world. Maybe you understand Jesus’ comment because others have hated you without a cause; they have rejected the fruit of your love. Pray for those that persecute you; stay connected to the Life-Giving Vine and move on to learn with those who celebrate God’s love in you.
16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
The World’s Hatred
18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. 19 The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you. 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. 21 They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me. 22 They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 If I hadn’t done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be guilty. But as it is, they have seen everything I did, yet they still hate me and my Father. 25 This fulfills what is written in their Scriptures: ‘They hated me without cause.’
Prayer: Lord, thank you for producing in me the kind of fruit that never spoils. Keep my love fresh and especially inviting to others who need to know you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.