John 15:11-15
John 15:11 (KJB)
These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
Jesus had given them all the information they needed to know concerning the coming events of the next two days. He did this so even in those uncertain times, His joy would remain in them and in this manner they would be filled with joy, the joy of Christ. (Heb 12:2 KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. Christ had looked beyond the pain of the cross and the shame of it to what lied ahead. He knew that His sacrifice on Calvary would result in the salvation of millions of people through the ages till the last day. Then in Heaven there would be joys untold for all eternity as there would be fellowship with the Father, the Son, and all the Elect.
John 15:12 (KJB)
This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
The joy of the disciples would remain full if they follow the commandment of Jesus to love one another. As Jesus had joy in sacrificing His life for those He came to save, those who follow Him should emulate the example He set for all of us, that as Christians, our goal is to serve others and when we do, our joy is made complete. Service to others is obedience to the Lord and that obedience is love in action, because the Christian life is one of service and not of just going to church. A fulfilled Christian life is one that involves service and as we serve, we enlarge our outreach. Christian service is also a testimony to the world that our faith is real. When we have faith and then build upon that faith with works, we are showing the world that Christianity is real.
John 15:13 (KJB)
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Jesus is stating that the giving of one’s life for their friends is the ultimate act of love. Jesus came from Heaven and is about to give His life for His people. Now we may not be called upon to physically give our lives for someone. Building upon the principle of sacrificial living, when we lay down our lives in service, we are, in essence, showing an ultimate act of Christian love. Giving our lives in service does not only mean that we give someone a ride or help put a roof on their house, it also means that we are sacrificing the time we have on earth to send forth the Gospel instead of enjoying the comforts of this life. For example, your friends call you up and ask you if you want to go to the beach, instead you had a plan to go hand out tracts in the middle of town. So if you do the evangelism instead of going to the beach, you are laying down your life for the purpose of the Gospel. (Mat 16:25 KJV) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. This is what the Lord meant when He said that if you lose your life for His sake you will find it. You are losing your life in the manner that instead of focusing on yourself and enjoying the beach, you are using the time for the sake of the Gospel. You are using your time on earth for eternal things.
John 15:14 (KJB)
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
Jesus tells the disciples that they are His friends as He builds upon the last verse when He states He will be laying down His life for His friends. Now in this verse, Jesus is telling them that they will be His friends if they do what Jesus commands them to do. By obeying what Jesus tells them, it gives evidence that they are truly His disciples and that would make them His friends. They too must partake in the sacrificial life of the Christian and that would make them friends of Jesus because His commandment to them is they are to love one another. The words “ye do” in the Greek is one word and it is in the Subjunctive Mood which is the case of condition. If they remain obedient to the commands of Christ and not live in disobedience, then they would be the friends of Jesus. Obedience and sacrifice are two major tenets of the Christian life.
John 15:15 (KJB)
Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.
Henceforth - From this time forward
When a person has servants working for them, they normally do not share any of the family business or secrets with them. They are hired help and not members of the family who are privy to the inner workings of the family. Jesus now states that He is elevating the disciples from a position of servants to friends. Jesus has revealed to them everything which the Father had revealed to Him. He had withheld nothing from the disciples and told them everything even though they were still unable to understand those things up to this point. Today the Scriptures, which is the written Word of God, is made open to the believer by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit but it is not made open to the unbeliever. As long as we walk in obedience and are not quenching or grieving the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures will remain open to us. It is when we begin to walk in disobedience is when the Scriptures become a closed book, even to the believer. God uses the person who has become saved and then are being sanctified in their daily walk as they seek to be obedient.