#1 Draft pickMay 9, 2021
Metropolitan UMC, Indian Head, MD
New International Version
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
The central words of this passage are those in which Jesus says that his disciples have not chosen him, but he has chosen them. It was not we who chose God, but God who, in his grace, approached us with a call and an offer made out of his love.
Out of this passage, we can compile a list of things for which we are chosen and to which we are called.
(1) We are chosen for joy. However hard the Christian way is, it is, both in the travelling and in the goal, the way of joy. There is always a joy in doing the right thing. Christians are men and women of joy. A gloomy Christian is a contradiction in terms, and nothing in all religious history has done Christianity more harm than its connection with black clothes and long faces. It is true that Christians are sinners; but they are redeemed sinners, and therein lies their joy. How can any of us fail to be happy when we walk the ways of life with Jesus?
(2) We are chosen for love. We are sent out into the world to love one another. Sometimes we live as if we were sent into the world to compete with one another, or to dispute with one another, or even to quarrel with one another. But Christians are to live in such a way that they show what is meant by loving our neighbours. It is here that Jesus makes another of his great claims. If we ask him: ‘What right have you to demand that we love one another?’, his answer is: ‘No one can show greater love than to lay down his life for his friends—and I did that.’ Many tell people to love each other, when their whole lives are a demonstration that that is the last thing they do themselves. Jesus gave us a commandment which he had himself first fulfilled.
Notes from Point 1
Notes from Point 2
Notes from Point 3