Are we backing a loser? (John 15 v 1-8)
How would you feel if your team got thrashed in a relegation match? That you’re backing a loser? The little group of disciples must have felt like that about Jesus, as all the most powerful people of Israel stood against Him.
Backing a winner
Read John 15:1
The “vine” is a picture of Israel, bringing fruitfulness to a wilderness world. Jesus says He is the real Israel—not a “loser”, but in reality the only “winner”! It looks as though the temple, the chief priests, the Sadducees and the Pharisees are the
real people of God, and Jesus’ little group is a marginal sect making a big mistake. But actually, it’s the complete opposite.
Read John 15:2
See how often “fruit” is mentioned in this passage. Fruit means everything that grows from our belonging to Jesus— Christlike character, love for Christians, joy, answered prayer, winning others to Christ…
• Why is it so important to stay loyal to Jesus?
Look carefully at verse 7. Notice that we remain “in” Jesus when Jesus’ “words” remain in us. We know Jesus today not by some mystical experience, but through His words.
Have you seen a “red-letter Bible”, where Jesus’ speeches are printed in red text? It’s not helpful, because all the Bible is Jesus’ words! The teaching of the apostles (that is, the whole New Testament) comes with His authority, and He taught us that the whole Old Testament is authoritative. And besides, there are no speech marks in the original language, and we don’t always know which words are from Jesus!
• How is the Father involved in all this (v 1, 2, 7, 8)?
Notice that the Father personally cares for every “branch”, everyone who is part of Jesus’ true people.
• What will it mean for you today to stay loyal to Jesus and His words?
Think about how the Bible section you have read today should impact what you say, how you behave, who you meet, and what you read or watch.
This devotional is taken from Explore—a daily Bible-reading devotional from the good book company which enables you to engage with Scripture and which will encourage, equip and inspire you to live for Christ. Explore features contributions from pastors such as Dr Timothy Keller, Mike McKinley and Tim Chester.
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