First of all I have to apologize that this post did not make it in yesterday. Bummer. But now it is posted so let’s go ahead and analyze chapter 15 of John. It begins somewhat harshly where Jesus is called the vine and those who follow him and bear no fruit are cut off from him. That is pretty harsh. One question that is brought up as a result of these verses is once we are disciples of Jesus Christ, can we ever really fall out of grace? Simply put, is it truly once saved always saved? Can we lose our salvation?
The simple answer is absolutely not. We cannot lose our salvation. It is once saved, always saved. What Jesus is addressing here is what is our responsibility once we are in the fold? Once we are a branch what do we need to do? The answer is given throughout these verses. We have to bear fruit. But we are not able to bear fruit unless we are in Jesus. This is a key point in these Scriptures. The only way that we are able to bear fruit is if we are with Jesus.
That fruit that we are commanded to bear is in one simple word: love. Verse 13 is a key verse to not only this chapter, but to our actual Christian walk. There is no greater love than a person laying down their life for someone else. The image that immediately comes to mind is that Palestinian father covering up his boy while he is being shot at by the Israeli military. It is a painful image that ends with the death of the boy. But the father tries desperately to cover him. For some reason this verse comes to mind.
Finally Jesus says that the world is going to hate those who follow him. He uses the word hate and doesn’t in any way make it sound nice or antiseptic. He tells us that we don’t belong to the world. I am pretty sure that a very common mentality that many Christians have is that we are to live in this world the best possible way that we can. That is not what Jesus says here. We are to live our lives in such a way that the world hates us. Let me say that again. We are to live our lives in such a way that the world hates. They shouldn’t hate us because we are mean or unkind. The world should hate us because we love one another.