John 15 and 16 are like Christian boot camp. If you were starting a club, is this what YOU would say to your recruits?
Jesus starts right in: “I am the Messiah, sent directly from God the Father. If you want to be with me, then you really have to be with me. Slackers will be cut off. Workers will be challenged to the limit to make them more productive. The proud, self-serving, and hypocritical can hit the highway. I’m looking for the humble and honest. The point is productivity. If you’re not going to produce, don’t sign up. Some of you here are already sterile and will be sent packing. Those of you who are already productive are about to go through a severe time of testing. Welcome, gentlemen.”
“The key to this operation is togetherness, not particularly you being a team with each other, though that will happen, as much as you being on MY team. You stay with me and you’ll be taken care of and you’ll be productive. Separate from me, and you’re dead in the water. You got that, soldier?”
“But remember this: though I’m your commander, my passion for you is without bounds. Everything I do and ask you to do is out of love. And if you understand that, you’ll do everything I ask, and that’s how you can show that you want togetherness. After all, this is not about you, soldier, but about our General. We are going to do everything possible to make him look every bit as awesome as he is. Do you understand?”
“Do you understand?”
“Now, as I said, you are a team with each other. The more you act as one mind and one person, the more success you will find. The more you act as my mind and my person, the easier it will be to act as a unified team. And the more you act as my mind and my person, you’ll find you are acting as the mind and will of the General. Understand that this will cost you. This is not an operation of self-glory, but of self-sacrifice. The more you forget about yourself and think about the team, the better off we’ll all be. Do everything I tell you, and you will not find any operation more satisfying.”