Last words are powerful. That’s because dwindling time attaches extra meaning to our words and actions. Think about the last tender evening around the bedside of a dying loved one, or the last hurried conversation at the airport, or the emotional embrace before driving away from the university where you have dropped off your child. Words spoken in those moments have extra power.
In these last hours before Jesus is arrested, He pours out His heard to His followers. You can feel the love and passion dripping from each word. Notice the four things He instructs them to do in these verses:
#1 - Love one another - This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Notice, that Jesus tells them to love “as I have loved you.” And in verse 13 He reminds them what that looks like: dying to yourself. Love means sacrifice. To whom in my life can I intentionally show love today?
#2 - Obey Me - You are my friends if you do what I command you. Jesus never instructed His followers to simply believe in Him. He said, “Do what I command you.” Though we tend to gloss over that in the 21st century American Church, obedience is a key part of discipleship. Do I have an area of my life that is out of obedience with Christ? What does obedience look like for me, today?
#3 – Produce Fruit - I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide. Jesus has called us to ministry! He poured Himself into these men for that purpose – so that He could work in them and through them. He poured Himself out for us for the same reason. What type of fruit is God producing in me/through me?
#4 - Love one another - These things I command you, so that you will love one another. Jesus repeats it, so we should take a second look. God calls us to love one another. That includes people who do not think like you. It includes the people in that other political party. It includes the people who pull for that other sports team. It includes people who look different; live different; drive you crazy. Jesus repaired those divisions. In Him we are one body. Today, repent of prejudice and self-righteousness, and unforgiveness.