“By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 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 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” – John 15:8-11
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.” -John 15:16-27
“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” – John 15:26-27
Some will occasionally say, “There’s a method to my madness.” They mean that what may appear to be random, or nonsensical is actually purposeful; there is a reason for what appears to be unreasonable. Whether or not Jesus’ words and actions appear unreasonable, he is clear on the purpose of his life and teaching. He spells out two purposes here in John 15. Jesus wants his followers to have the fullness of his joy. He intends that his followers love one another.
On a human level it is not apparent that Jesus’ actions are reasonable. He is facing imminent betrayal, horrific suffering, and cruel death. He appears, nevertheless, calm and at peace; fully devoted to teaching his disciples and preparing them (not himself!) for what is to come. But his speech and commandment are purposeful; and his demeanor is founded upon a power greater than that which will take his life.
Jesus directs us to love one another, and abide in his love. He connects that with being filled with joy, and bearing fruit. Then he offers a foundational power for all of this. Just as God spoke the world into being, the Spirit of Truth (The Holy Spirit) will sustain the disciples in their witness, love, and joy.
What appears random and does not make sense will be enlightened by the Holy Spirit. The truth will come out. Jesus is the Word become flesh. His teachings, life, ministry, suffering and death, are the makings of the world’s redemption. Jesus’ death itself was actually a victory. He has conquered Satan and death.
The disciples have been with Jesus from the beginning. The whole puzzle snaps together before their eyes. They can bear a powerful witness sustained by the truth which the Holy Spirit embodies and of which he convicts them. Our witness is likewise emboldened. For we who know the whole story, and have the witness of the Scriptures, also are convinced of the truth of who Jesus is and what he has done. There is no greater witnessing power than presence of the Spirit of Truth in our lives.