Jesus, the Son of God, through whom the universe was made, opens the door in John 15 for everyone to become His friend. But what does it mean to be Jesus' friend? What blessings did Jesus promise to give His friends? And what did Jesus say was required to be His friend? This lesson answers these questions, and reveals how our friendship with Jesus is directly related to the effectiveness of our prayers, the depth of our love for others, and being saved at the end.
A third of the world's population calls itself Christian. Yet most believe that following Jesus and making it to heaven does not actually require obeying what He taught. In John 15, Jesus provides an allegory of the Vine and the branches, a beautiful picture of how to understand our relationship with Jesus and what is required by us to be saved in the end. Grasp this teaching and you will also understand the blessings available to anyone who abides in Christ and allows himself or herself to be pruned by the Gardner. In just ten verses, this teaching may also do more to demolish the foundation of Reformation Theology than any other passage of Scripture.
Jesus has healed a young blind man who stands up to and is rejected by the Pharisees. To put this in perspective, Jesus tells a parable about a sheepfold, a shepherd, thieves and robbers, and explains that He is "the door of the sheep." This confuses his hearers, but Jesus' teaching is profound and reveals deep truths, foreshadowed throughout the Old Testament. We also consider how Jesus’ subsequent promise of “the abundant life” for his followers has been terribly distorted by many, and what Jesus' promise does (and doesn’t) mean for His Church.