Abide in Me

John 15:1-9
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower.2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you.4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love.

Abide. What does it mean to abide? Does it mean to sit down and enjoy his presence? That's what I wanted to focus on today, but when I sat down and read this verse I couldn't honestly go there. I could if the passage ended where I stopped, but it doesn't. It goes on.

John 15:10-17
10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.13 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.14 You are my friends if you do what I command you.15 I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.16 You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name.17 I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

We abide in Jesus by keeping his commandments (v.10). Man, I'm almost tempted to say that I hate that. I want a works-free faith. I want a faith that I can have and not do anything for anyone. I want to worry about being right with God by focusing on my Bible study time and prayer time. I want to be assured that I am right with God by how much I feel him, by the excitement and power of the Holy Spirit living within me. I want to be saved by proper doctrine and correct theology. But that isn't how Jesus said we abide in him. We abide in Jesus by keeping his command to love one another.

We are Jesus' friends ... if we do what he tells us (v.14), if we love one another. Doesn't that go against all modern-day "Christian" teachings. It seems to rub me the wrong way, but I have to let it rub me and transform me into proper thinking. Not everyone is Jesus' friend until they abide in him or, rather, begin to love one another.

But here are the assurances. When we love one another, we allow the life of Jesus to live (or abide) through us. Our joy may be complete (v.11). We will be Jesus' friends, friends that he has laid his life down for (v.13-14). We can have all of these things if we abide in Jesus, and we abide in him by loving one another.


Here is some interesting stuff on the word (meno) translated abide in this passage.

This information came from studylight.org.

Obviously, the top section gives the definition of the word. The bottom section shows you how the different translations use the word in different places.

  1. to remain, abide
    1. in reference to place
      1. to sojourn, tarry
      2. not to depart 1a
    2. to continue to be present 1a
    3. to be held, kept, continually
    4. in reference to time
      1. to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure 1b
    5. of persons, to survive, live
    6. in reference to state or condition
      1. to remain as one, not to become another or different
  2. to wait for, await one
Translated Words
KJV (120) - abide, 61; continue, 11; dwell, 15; endure, 3; misc, 5; remain, 16; tarry, 9;

NAS (118) - abide, 16; abides, 22; abiding, 4; await, 1; continue, 4; continues, 1; endures, 3; enduring, 1; lasting, 2; lives, 1; living, 1; remain, 20; remained, 6; remaining, 1; remains, 8; stand, 1; stay, 11; stayed, 11; staying, 3; waiting, 1;

I don't know if that information gives any more meaning to the word to you, but it did to me. I think the meaning of abide fits in tremendously with the tree illustration that Jesus used. Abiding in him means that we take all of the nourishment he provides. We're connected to him as a branch is to a tree. However, we need to be sure that we're using that nourishment to be the people (produce the fruit) that Jesus wants us to be. He wants us to continue on his work of love. If we do take the nourishment and don't love one another, then he says he will remove us. I am left to ask, "Am I following his command to love others?" If I answer yes, then I can be assured that I am abiding in Jesus.

Watch out for the potholes.