‘Last Supper Lessons’ Meditations: 25. Chosen for Fruitfulness
Jn 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit.”
We’re back eye-balling this subject of fruitfulness again. Back in Study No.20 when we started in chapter 15, we commented that much of this chapter is about fruitfulness. The chapter started with relationship – Jesus, the vine, us the branches, and from the word go there was the reminder that branches bear fruit (v.2,4). Indeed branches that don’t beat fruit get cut off and thrown away (v.6) because the purpose of fruit is to glorify God (v.8).
But then he spoke of the nature of this fruit-bearing relationship – love. As we saw yesterday there is a flow: Father to Son to disciples (v.9), a sacrificial love which is now to flow between us (v.12), expressed as obedience to Jesus’ commands (v.10) which brings forth joy (v.11). So what do we now see in this present verse?
Purpose and identity. This is what we find here. Purpose: called by Jesus to be fruitful. Identity: a sinner called, redeemed and saved to be a servant and then a friend and, all the while, a child of God. Purpose again: called to be part of The Big Plan that is about changing the world. Moi? Definitely! Identity again: a disciple, gifted and empowered in order to follow the Master into the darkness where we are to bring light. Wow, what a calling!
Sorry that was a bit compressed, let’s take it more slowly. First, Jesus chose us. So often you hear people say, “I found Jesus.” Well no, actually he found you, had his eyes on you and his Spirit moved in you to bring conviction and all else that followed. Second, he chose you, not to sit in a pew and look nice, but to be changed to bring forth the fruit of a transformed life now in his service. That’s not only fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22,23) that means character change, but also the fruit of goodness, righteousness and truth (Eph 5:9), so that as love and knowledge work together they bring glory to God (Phil 1:9-11).
But note also the identity part. We are now called Jesus’ friends (v.14). We are more than servants (v.15) because we are now insiders who, with the help of the Spirit, are taught and now understand the nature of this calling, how it works and what it can achieve. In other contexts we are called children of God (Jn 1:12,13, 1 Jn 3:1) and elsewhere as sons (Gal 4:6) and the point of ‘sons’ is about those who grow up to inherit the Father’s business, learning the trade, so to speak. The purpose of a business? To make profit (fruit!) by applying knowledge and skills. Relationship develops into activity and activity is about bringing forth fruit. That’s what it’s all about.