No Greater Love
Read: John 15:1-13
The Vine and the Branches
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. —John 15:13
OUR DAILY BREAD’s devotional for the day shares a story about a married couple. Bill and his wife were driving through the Rocky Mountains when a near-miss with a truck caused their car to swerve off the road and plunge into the Colorado River. After scrambling out of their sinking vehicle, they frantically treaded water in the swift current. A truckdriver, who had seen the accident, ran ahead along the shore and threw a rope to them. Bill swam behind his wife and pushed her to where she could grab the rope—and the man pulled her out. Bill, however, was carried downstream and didn’t survive. He had given his life for the woman he loved.
To give your life so another person can live is the ultimate proof of love. During the night that Jesus was betrayed, He told His disciples of His intention to give His life in exchange for mankind. He told them: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13). And then He set the ultimate example of self-sacrifice by going to the cross.
Have you ever given any thought to the fact that Jesus did that for you—that He died in your place? In so doing, He not only proved His love for you, but He also made it possible for you to be forgiven of your sins and to have an eternal home in heaven.
He who gave Himself to save me,
Now will keep me to the end;
In His care securely resting
On His promise I depend.
Christ’s sacrifice was what God desired and our sin required.