Timothy Group #2: John 15

The following write-ups are “homework” from a new Timothy Group which began in early December 2016. The format/structure of these write-ups here is an online version of what other members of the group are doing in hard-copy format, using four columns spread over two A4 sheets of paper. Each column corresponds to a different purpose:

  1. Rewrite the passage, word for word. In my case, I am typing up the entire passage from scratch.
  2. Paraphrase or re-tell the passage in your own words
  3. “I Will” / application / What is God showing me?
  4. Special / specific question assigned for each week

The bible passage for this week is John 15:9-11,14-17. Throughout this series I will be using the New Living Translation version of the bible.


“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. When you obey me, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father and remain in His love. I have told you this so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!…

You are my friends if you obey me. I no longer call you servants, because a master doesn’t confide in his servants. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. I command you to love each other.


Jesus has cherished us just as God the Father has also cherished us. Be rooted in God’s love. When we show obedience, this is an example of what it means to be rooted in God’s love. And the best example is Jesus, because He was obedient to the Will of God, and this demonstrated what it means to be rooted in love. Jesus told us, his disciples, this so that we would be complete in experiencing the joy and delight of the Lord. In fact, our obedience will lead to an abundance of God’s joy and delight in our lives…

We are not just followers of Christ, but in showing obedience to Him, we are considered in close relationship, a friendship of trust and equality in that we share everything with each other. This is unlike a master-servant relationship where there is a clear distinction between the two roles. Everything that God the Father shared with Jesus, the Son of God has been entrusted and shared with us too, so we are indeed in a close trust relationship with God. It is important to realise that the basis for our relationship with God began first with Him loving and choosing us. It is because He first loved us that we can love Him back – in this way He chose us, not us choosing Him. As a result of bearing and showing love to each other, should manifest itself in the visible signs of a healthy loving relationship and attitude towards others. When we are consistent with this mindset, in abiding in God’s love, and loving one another, our will becomes aligned with God’s will and thus, whatever we seek and request in His name will come to fruition.

What is God Showing Me?

The phrase “remain in my love” strikes me as the first of significance. I needed a little help in understanding this and found this article published by National Catholic Reporter, which states:

Remain comes from the Latin re (expressing intensive force) and manere (to stay). To stay not just again and again, but expressing intensive force. Perhaps a similar sentiment is to be rooted. Be rooted in my love, God says. Be here, dwell here, stay here. Don’t go anywhere. Don’t look for other places. Be here. Be in my love.

This helped me to appreciate the depth of God’s love and intent that we are to dwell in His presence, abide in Him and His commandments. To remain in God’s love requires me to be entirely focused and centred in the nature of God’s love – unrestricted, overwhelming, caring and all encompassing.

The second thing that spoke to me from this passage is the joy aspect – love leads to joy, and joy overflowing. To truly experience and live a life that is full of love means we will find the joy of the Lord. The words of the old song ring true:

The joy of the Lord is my strength!
The joy of the Lord is my strength!
And ion the time of trouble, He will deliver me.
The joy of the Lord is my strength!

To be able to be filled with joy and to rejoice in the Lord is a timeless and independent of life’s experiences. We can experience the joy of the Lord no matter what we face – goodness, abundance and blessings, or even the hardships, suffering and trials. Another key phrase comes to mind from Blessed Be Your Name:

Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

This is a great example sung out of the joy of the Lord, enabling us to bless God and proclaim His Lordship.

God shows me a third aspect from this passage which is the relational/friendship part of the verses. We are co-heirs with Christ in having the ability to be one with God. At least, Jesus equips us with everything He was equipped with from the Father, so we, in being filled with the Holy Spirit are empowered to do great things in His name.

The final revelation that studying the passage unveils to me is that when we are living a healthy and obedient life loving one another, and loving God, we bear fruit. When we bear fruit, whilst we do benefit, the benefit is also visible to others around us. I generally take an approach/mindset that it is not for me to judge and consider that I am being fruitful, but that this is something for others to see resulting from my nature, actions and words. We/I can only trust that as I remain obedient to God, and focus on ensuring I am living a life of love that people around me can see God being honoured and glorified, and thus bear much good fruit.

What are the Consequences of Obedience?

In many ways, the last point on bearing fruit is also very relevant here – bearing fruit and having people see us bear good fruit, as outward signs of God’s love and God working in our lives is part of the benefits and consequences of our being obedient to God. Much of the above in fact is relevant for this section here. When we are obedient, by loving one another, we also will live out lives where we have a close relationship with God, and we will accomplish much and greater things in His name. The blind will see, the lame will walk, the sick will be healed – all for the glory and honour of God.

Ultimately, God’s heavenly will becomes manifested here on earth – as the Kingdom of God is here/near.