“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because everything I have learned from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit— fruit that will remain— so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you. This is My command to you: Love one another”
Have you ever looked at a verse and said – wow! There is so much here to unpack. As I consider the implications of these verses, they are so far-reaching! I’ve read these a thousand times over the years, but this week they stopped me in my tracks.
Today, I just want to scratch the surface as I endeavor to keep this devotional short. If you want to take a deeper dive, I encourage you to engage in a practice of the early church called Lectio Divina. It is Latin for what they called Divine reading; a contemplative practice of reading a passage of scripture four times, each time with a different intent: Lectio (which is a plain reading), Meditatio (a meditative reading), Oratio (a prayerful reading), and Comtemplatio (a restful reading). BTW-this will take you a couple of times to do properly.
Here are my abbreviated thoughts and questions for these couple of verses of scripture. I would guess that the Lord will give you your own thoughts that will be more meaningful to you, but here are mine:
- “Understand what the master is doing.” Jesus makes it apparent that servants do not understand what the master is doing. This challenges me to ask, do I really know what the Lord is doing, both in the greater world and my specific world? Why are the nations being shaken? Can I see the hand of God in this shaking? What about my world? What am I learning as my life is less than settled?
- “I called you friends.” Friendship is always a two-way street. I know that He knows everything about me, as Matthew 10:30 says he knows the number of hairs upon my head, but how much do I really know him? This relates to a correct understanding of what he is doing in this world and in my world. Friendship takes time to know and understand to become friends.
- “I chose you – I appointed you” To be chosen means that he picked me out for something specific, like picking a teammate or workmate for a specific position or role. The idea of being appointed in this text is both an honor and a responsibility. It is an honor to go and gather the fruit, but also a responsibility. I have been chosen and commissioned by my friend and Savior. Wow…if I place this truth as an overlay regarding my earthly relationships, it highlights how much Jesus was entrusting to his disciples…to us.
Time doesn’t allow me to go into the phrases “go and bear much fruit and “Love one another,” but they are packed with meaning as well.
Scripture always has such depth in its implications in our lives. My personal challenge is not to let it float over my heart without taking the measures to let it really sink in. I need God’s words to soften and change me.
God bless you this week.
Fellow chosen and appointed friend of God.