Jesus, the Decider and Provider
John 15:16
You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit…

We have here the statement of a plain historical fact. Jesus, from the general body of his disciples, did pick out a special company for special work. No doubt they also had to choose, but their choice simply amounted to recognition; they could not put any one else in the place which Jesus held. And he invites them here to a retrospect of the hour in which he had chosen them. They would have liked in most things, practically in all things, to get their own way; and this was just what they could not do. Jesus did not visit the world to fall in with the wishes of ignorant and short-sighted men. Underneath all our choices, and all the changes of our moods, there is the purpose, the choice, and the expectation of Jesus. We have -

I. JESUS DECIDING. It was all the doing of Jesus. These men were to be stamped with his sending. They were in his employment. The call of the Lord Jesus constituted their authority and their claim. And the essence of this choosing still remains. Every one trying to do work for the sake of Jesus and in the Name of Jesus must have something of this feeling that he has been chosen; that a constraining hand has been upon him, first of all arresting his footsteps in the old way, and then pointing them into a new one. In ranging ourselves under Jesus, we indeed cannot escape a great decision, but it will be made with a feeling that we could not help making it; and this feeling will only deepen as the years of service and devotion roll on. Christians never have any misgivings about the right of Jesus to grasp and direct. If any profess themselves never to have felt that Jesus wanted them, never said "Follow me," such must be asked whether the truth does not lie here, that they are fertile in the spirit of excuses. There will at least be an indubitable picking out, by-and-by, of the sheep from the goats. Effort and self-denial are required to find out what Jesus has a right to claim, and what he really wants. There is such a thing as having ears and yet not being able to hear.

II. JESUS PROVIDING. As Jesus claims the right of deciding, so he also takes the responsibility of providing, lie has so situated and surrounded his servants, that they may bring forth fruit, and abiding fruit. Every branch in the vine has its own place, but all are provided for in a common life and a common growth. The decision and the provision go together. Jesus is not really Decider unless he is also allowed to be Provider. Each soldier of the army is not allowed to make provision for himself. If he had this to do, his fighting would be of little use. The king who sends the army out makes provision for the sustaining of the army. Christians have to be more than others, do more than others, and thus their resources must exceed those of others. How is the grape of the wilderness to become the grape of the vineyard, unless it is planted in the vineyard? Wild fruit, growing as it will, can never become like the fruit that is cultivated and watched.

III. JESUS EXPECTING. The disciples were full of vexation because of hopes and imaginings overthrown; but Jesus knew what would come. Jesus is above all clouds that darken the present and prevent a right view of the future. These very men, so troubled now, would before long be joying and rejoicing abundantly that they were counted worthy to suffer for their Master. What great things may be expected, what usefulness and happiness are at the dawn, when once self gets an effectual crippling! The branches of this vine will be as the stars of the sky for multitude, and as the sand, by the sea-shore innumerable. - Y.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

WEB: You didn't choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain; that whatever you will ask of the Father in my name, he may give it to you.

Fruit Bearing
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