26 I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. 27 But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him.
28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 1 John 2:26-2
The word “abide” has appeared six times in the past six verses.
Truly, “abide” is the command over John’s life.
In the Gospels, John is the only one out of all four to write down Jesus’s “I am the vine,” speech, which includes the word abide nine times in seven verses. No other letter from any other apostle uses the word like John does. It’s almost as if Jesus spoke directly to John when he came to that part of his sermon, looking him directly in the eye, silently saying between the lines, “You will be the one to teach the world about this, and why it matters.”
John has this command from Jesus, silent or not, and he follows it. It is supposed that John wrote the letter we are reading together years after Jesus initially told him to abide. It was the type of word that stuck to his soul, a label that God gave him that is probably still on him in the Kingdom of Heaven today.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me." You can do nothing without me, Jesus says to John and to us with the first introduction to his life command in John 15:4.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, so apart from me, you can do nothing.“ Your life will come from me, and you will make nothing good unless it comes from me. (John 15:5)
“If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.” Eternal life is found in me, and eternal dissatisfaction is found without me. (John 15:6)
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” Your proof of knowing the Only King can be seen in what you produce, which I will make marvelous. (John 15:7-8)
“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Abide in my love.” The Father’s love overflows from me to you. Make me your home. (John 15:9)
“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.” You will live in my love when you keep my commandments. (John 15:10)
My prayer for us today is that we would be as struck by John 15 as John himself was when he heard it face to face. Would this be the word that identifies our lives, a command we live and bring forth with passion as John did.