In John 15, Jesus first calls the disciples to Abide in Me. The call is for us to remain dependent upon Jesus where we enjoy sweet fellowship with Him. Jesus makes it clear that no fruit will be borne if you do not Abide in Me (Remain in Me). Jesus emphasizes permanence and steadfastness in His relationship with the disciples. Then Jesus calls for His Words to abide in you. “Abide” is repeated ten times in vv. 4–10. The metaphor of the vine illustrates the point; it is only when nutrients flow freely to the branches that fruit can be borne.
Now further in John 15, Jesus calls for the disciples to Abide in My Love. Jesus desires for His relationship with His disciples to mirror that of His relationship with the Father.
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
Jesus tells the disciples that He loved them as God loved Him. God also loved Him that He gave Him to the world. Jesus is also preparing His disciples for His giving of them to the world, but I digress. I am sure that I cannot adequately define how God the Father loved the God the Son, but it is clear that God loved Him completely, thoroughly and without fail even when Jesus bore our sins as God turned His back toward the stench and ugliness of our sin. For God said in Psalm 89:33, “but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.” Jesus was completely obedient to the Father, even to death on the cross. Our obedience to Christ pales in comparison. Despite that, Jesus, just like the Father, will not betray His faithfulness to us. 2 Timothy 2:13 says, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.”
Once more, Jesus calls for the disciples to Abide in My Love. How does one abide in Jesus’ love? Jesus answers that right after He commands it. Jesus says, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love”. What does that really mean? Is it possible for any of us to keep His commands completely? I am not sure, but what I am sure of is Jesus equates love to obedience and obedience to love of which He is the greatest example. He references Himself, so we the disciples and us understand that He is the standard of obedience. InterVarsity Press expresses it as “To have his words remaining in them means to share his mind and his will. They are to be caught up into his own focus on the doing of God’s will. Accordingly, they will pray for his purposes rather than for their own selfish desires. Jesus’ purposes have been to reveal God and share his life and love so people will be brought into union with him in his new community. Such will be the concerns also of the disciples who have Jesus’ words in them, and God will answer their prayers as they live according to their life in Christ and his life in them.”
The notion of abiding connotes a dwelling. Christ wants His Word to dwell in us. Early on, Jesus set the word dwelling in us as standard for those who would follow Him. He reaffirms His expectation to the disciples in this passage. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” Jesus expects us to imitate Him. He kept the Father’s commandments and abided in HIs love. Now, Jesus says keep my commands to Abide in My Love.
Do you want Jesus to be faithful to you? We must be faithful to Him. He is calling us to obedience. He is calling for us to Abide in My Love.