“Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken to you.”-John 15:3
I wonder what the mood was in the room when Jesus spoke these words. He had just told the disciples that every branch that does not bear fruit, the Father takes away. Were they thinking to themselves, “I wonder if Jesus is talking about me?” They were raised under the old covenant, so they understood their righteousness to be about how well they obeyed the rules. When they broke the rules, the scribes, priests, and Pharisees were there to let them know. When their rabbi, Jesus, said that fruitless branches would be taken away, how many of them I wondered, “Am I bearing enough fruit for the kingdom? Am I living radically enough for Jesus?”
If we are honest, many of us ask the same question, don’t we? “Am I evangelizing enough, praying enough, and living up to the standards Jesus set for me? What if I am cut away?”
Then Jesus said these words, “Already you are clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” Listen…we do not justify ourselves. We cannot make ourselves right with God. All we are able to bring is our brokenness and sin. Our purity and salvation are found in what Jesus already accomplished on our behalf.
Jesus, thank you for your saving work. So often, it is hard for me to trust that my salvation is not based on my works, but upon your finished work. Teach me to place my confidence, today and every day, in your death and resurrection and to live by faith in what you have done for me. Amen.