8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.
17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Jesus is having a deeply personal conversation with the apostles.
Jesus is telling them that there must be an constant communion with Him for their life to produce anything that lasts or has worth.
And Jesus gives them the highest compliment he can, “I chose you”.
They were chosen, not just by another rabbi, but by the Messiah.
And they will have incredible responsibilities: “bear fruit” and “love one another”.
But they will also have incredible privileges: “your joy may be full” and “whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you”.
I often want something to be “proven”. Show me the evidence that something is true.
Well, here Jesus tells me what the evidence is that “proves to be a disciple”.
The proof of a disciple is the bearing of fruit.
But I can’t do this on my own effort.
I can only bear fruit by “abiding”, staying connected, with Jesus.
If a vine is not beating fruit, then it is unhealthy or immature.
What about me?
Am I growing in a deep and healthy abiding relationship with Jesus?
Am I maturing in who I am in Christ?
And my abiding in Christ is not just a bunch of selfless acts.
Abiding in Christ actually gives me the greatest reward, fullness of His joy!
And Jesus tells me what the result is of this internal growing of joy and external bearing of fruit: “By this the Father is glorified”.
We can’t bear right now to see the pure glory of the Father.
But we can see the fruit of his disciples.
And this leads to the Father’s glory.
So, I get joy.
The world gets fruit.
The Father gets glory.
This follows the same pattern of Jesus on the cross.
Jesus went to the cross “for the joy set before Him” and that the Father would be glorified.
And the Holy Spirit was sent producing fruit from each disciple.
And the fruit will happen if I abide in Him.
This is the natural result of healthy and mature living vine.
The fruit will happen. This is “spoken”.
But there is also something that is “commanded”.
Love one another!
This I must do!
But again, love, like joy, is a spiritual fruit.
I will only follow this command if it flows from a communion with Jesus.
And this is the only way to truly live.
And why wouldn’t I be eager to do so?
I get fullness of joy!
And when I become joined to The Vine and take on the nature of The Vine, then I will ask for what the Vine needs and wants …
… and it will be given.
… and the Father will be glorified.
Father, take what needs to be taken
And prune what needs to be pruned that I will be a healthy and maturing branch of the Vine.
Help me love others
And help me know and experience your joy
Im Jesus name