Jesus died to secure a relationship. Not just to bring us into a quantity of life that goes on forever, but to bring us into a life of truly knowing our God.
It has been said that most Christians live in the place between Romans 7 and Romans 8, the place between “I am a wretched, double-minded sinner!” and “I am more than a conqueror!” And Jesus, who is truthful and gracious, knows and understands, and He continues to promise us His peace in His conquest of the world.
Jesus told the disciples that joy would be theirs, and it would be a joy that would overcome their sorrow and the world’s effort to take it away. It would be joy at seeing Him again. It would be the joy of praying to a Father who loves them and seeing Him work.
Followers of Christ today can and must remember the absolutely necessary work of the Spirit. Only he can do the work needed to draw people’s hearts to Jesus. Only he can guide us internally with the words of God.
Disciples today have also been chosen out of this world and will be hated. We can, by the Spirit’s power, continue to testify to what we have seen and heard from Jesus. But we must make sure we are being hated for the right reasons.
What does it mean to be a “friend of Jesus”? How is it that Jesus calls his disciples “friends”? This morning, we will look at Jesus’ love for his disciples, and how he has demonstrated that love for those he calls his friends.
This morning we will focus on Jesus’ words in the middle of the picture, “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
A branch that is filled with the life and love of Jesus bears the fruit of obedience.
God is the vinedresser, and he loves his branches. He wants us to bear much fruit. To do that, though, we require tending. Lifting up. Pruning. It is the branches that are tended that bear fruit.
Peace is a gift from God in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. In our text this morning, Jesus promises the gift of peace. And He promises a peace the world cannot give.