In John 15:9-17 Jesus is still giving His final encouragements and instructions to the disciples before His crucifixion. He has just a few minutes, the short trek to Gethsemane, to encapsulate His entire ministry on earth and loving faith to the Father. Jesus chooses a number of metaphoric examples beginning with grape vines. But no earthly metaphor can exactly describe God. Therefore, Jesus breaks from a life giving example to one based in pure, perfect heavenly compassion.
There is one prominent theme in the Bible concerning the relationship God wants with all of His creation, love. Love is the reason, the beginning impetus, the motivation that drove God to send the Son on His atoning mission.
Exemplifying perfect love began on a dark night in Bethlehem were God chose to leave His home in Heaven and come to earth as a babe born to a destitute family, a simple carpenter and his wife. Love is manifest in Christ as He ministered to the least of all the saints, women with debilitating feminine issues. Love is on display as Jesus great compassion reached out to Zacchaeus and called him down from the tree. Love is projected as Jesus ministered to lepers, healed the lame gave the blind sight. There are many other examples. However, love is perfected in the events immediately before and especially at the cross.
All of this truth comes to bare upon the disciples in the final hours of the Savior’s ministry on earth. We find that they are certainly not completely cognizant of the entirety of His words, but we certainly find in retrospect that we recognize the totality of this message. Jesus displayed perfect love both as He stayed dedicated to the Father and perfectly carried out His ministry on earth, and as He ministered to the world through His benevolence.
Jesus points back further in this passage to Abraham and the Father where Abraham was called a friend of God (Jhn 15:15; Jas 2:23). His love extends to press the disciples, and all those that follow in faith into a new relationship, a new friendship.
Are you a friend of Jesus. Do you believe in His loving atonement, His death, burial and resurrection. Do you trust Him with your whole life, your life on earth, your life eternal. There is no other life for us except that which glorifies God. Jesus was the pattern for that dedicated life on earth. Follow Jesus loving pattern, become a friend of God through the salvation in Christ Jesus.