“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”
What wonderful promises are in God’s Word for us! Every verse, actually, every word is important for our lives. Praise God for giving us His Word! If you feel behind on this challenge, take heart. Ask our heavenly Father to help you. The most important takeaway from this challenge is not bragging rights that you completed it in the allotted time, but that you spent time in the Word and are coming to know your Father’s heart more closely!
Today we are looking at John 15:16. When we look at verses, it is important that we look at them in context. John 15 comes near the close of Jesus’ earthly ministry, right before He goes to the cross. Jesus has just eaten the last supper with His disciples and now is sharing with them in a deeper way that they were not ready for previously.
In this verse, Jesus is sharing with them about how they were chosen by God. We see this played out earlier in their lives when Jesus called different ones to come follow Him. Matthew 4 tells us about Jesus’ call to some of them. In verses 18-22 we read, “And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were fishers. And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him. And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.”
They did not choose Jesus; actually, Jesus chose them! Jesus called them to follow after Him. I believe that Jesus has this same call to all! He desires that we would stop following our own interests, seeking only our own things, and instead follow after Him. Mark 3:14 talks about how Jesus ordained the twelve disciples to be with Him, and to send forth to preach. I find it very interesting that they were ordained to be with Him. God’s call on our lives is first and foremost to Himself! He has a will, a desire, for our lives, but we are not able to live in His will if we are not living in the abiding life that Jesus is talking about in this chapter!
Jesus’ desire for us is that we would bear much fruit. What is fruit? If we think about fruit in a physical way, we see that fruit is the result of life. Apples are formed from the apple tree, which is alive, doing what it does naturally. As the apple tree does all of the things that apple trees do, assimilating sunshine, receiving nutrients from the soil, drinking in the water, apple blossoms are formed and, to make a long story short, fruit is the result.
Earlier in this chapter, Jesus defined for us what fruit is in the life of a believer. In verses 7 & 8, Jesus says “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.” According to this verse, fruit in the believers’ life is answered prayer. As we abide in the Lord, and allow His Word to abide in us, we are led to pray, and when the Lord answers our prayer, we have remaining fruit in our lives. Praise the Lord!
This point is again illustrated by what Jesus says next in verse 16: “…that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.” Our Father wants us to request things of Him! Our Heavenly Father desires to work in the world, but He is looking for people to ask Him to do it. He is looking for those who will agree with Him. When I pray, often I don’t know what God’s will is in a particular situation, but I know that I can pray confidently for Him to do His will in it! Jesus told us in the Lord’s Prayer to pray “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven,” (Matthew 610). We can always pray with confidence when we are praying in accordance with the will of the Lord! May the Lord cause us all to abide in Him, allowing His Word to abide in us, and for prayer to be the natural resulting fruit in our lives!