I was asked recently this question, “Do you believe Jesus?” My answer, as probably yours would be, was “Yes I do”. But the question left me thinking. I believe in Jesus for my salvation, for my cleansing, for His presence, my family. I believe Him for things easy enough for me to believe but what about those places that may be a bit uncomfortable for me, that may stretch me more than I would want.
I’ve been haunted by Jesus’ words in John 15:16, “You did not 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 ask the Father in My Name He may give to you.”
Chosen and appointed for what? To bear fruit. What kind of fruit is He referring to? Fruit of the Spirit, as listed in Gal.5:22-23? Maybe but then we may miss the larger context of His intent. It’s His last night before His crucifixion. Will His work end with His death or will His disciples continue the work, and not just continue but see it expand exponentially.
His words, post-resurrection, were to go and make disciples of all nations (Matt.28-19). If we marry the two passages, we are chosen to bear fruit. What kind of fruit? The kind which makes disciples.
Prayer, in this verse, seems to be about disciple making, about seeing others coming to know Christ and taught His ways. We know that character development is absolutely essential but if it is only about me and Jesus, we will miss the larger context. “Whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give to you.” The prayer is not about receiving answers to personal interests but bearing fruit. It is in the context of disciple making that the fruit remains.
Back to the question asked of me, “Do you believe Jesus?” Do I believe, (do you believe), that the Father would use our lives to make disciples, to seek and find the lost, to help them to come into a vital relationship with Jesus Christ? This is more than academic. This has a practical side. Can I, can you, name those who have come to personal faith in Christ this week, this month, this year through our lives? Rather than ignore the question or being laden with guilt or glibly state that it’s someone else’s responsibility, why not come back to the prayer part of this verse and ask the Father to lead you to those who need Jesus, those whom He would want you to pray for and witness to.
The question is asked, “Do you believe Jesus, even in this area of soul winning?” How would you respond?