Loving as Friends

by Duane Maust
John 15: 9-17
May 17, 2009

Jesus has a important command for us today. It is easy for us to brush over verses like this today and not let them absorb into our hearts. It has been absorbing in my heart the last several weeks and I still have some absorbing to do.

I think Jesus was really serious about us getting this love thing down into our hearts. He uses the word love 9 times in these 9 verses. He uses the word friends 3 times. Jesus is wanting to tell us something. Love and friendships are important. Jesus is wanting to be our friends.

Someone once said, “A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

Another maybe better definition was given by a young boy, “a friend is a person who knows us and still likes us.”

That is what Jesus does for us. Is it? He loves us in spite of what we did or who we are.

William Barclay once said that Christians sometimes live as though they were sent into the world to compete, dispute, or quarrel with one another. When really they were sent into the world to live in such a way as to show what it means to love one another.

Let’s back up a couple of chapters. Jesus is giving the great commandment John 13: 34-35

Both passages tell us to love as he has loved. How did Jesus love us?

In the text today Jesus is repeating it for emphasis to live in love. He laid down his life for us. He want us to love like he did. Read John 15: 13

In my Bible the verses just ahead are under the same heading as the verses for the text today. “The Vine and the Branches.” This is interesting that these verses are here. I am not going to go into detail on the vine verses today but I encourage you to think about how they connect to our text for today. We are to stay connected to the true vine in order to love the way Jesus is talking about. There may be some tuff love to keep thing growing and healthy. I would encourage you to read all these verses in one setting this week and see how you think they connect.

Jesus wants us to be connected to the real source. Jesus is saying in verse 4, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you.” we must be connected to have this love that Jesus is talking about in the text. We must be connected to have these friends out of love that he is talking about.

When I was think about this sermon this past week, thinking about Jesus knowing he was going to give his life for us, I was thinking about what that means to us here today. How does this fit us today?

I thought about this past Monday, when Elaine was getting ready to have her surgery, what would have happened if I went to the doctor and told him I wanted to take her place. Is that what Jesus was talking about? He was talking about even giving more. I love Elaine. Jesus loves us even more. He did more then taking a surgery for someone. He took the cross.

Jesus really lays it out for us.

Read John 15: 13-15

Most of us will not know what the highest cost is. But we can work toward it. It is not about ourselves being first. It is about giving from ourselves. That is when we are recognized as a friend and not a servant by Jesus. Jesus wants us to be his friend.

Yesterday I was talking to my mother on the phone and memtioned what I was going to be preaching about today. She called me back with this devotional that she found about love.


“Happy is the home were the speech registers sweetness, where the action reveals affection, where their eyes relate encouragement, where countenance reflect compassion, and where their lives radiate love.” The Living Bible says love each other and take delight in honoring each other.”

One reason I liked this story is, it is often at home where our love may get tried the most. Or is it just that way at my home? The people we live with see what we are made of.

The love Jesus is talking about may be the hardest to live out at home. It is something that Jesus will be glad to help us with if we stay connected to him. He wants our friendship. He wants us to live lives of love.

Read verse 17.

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