Our minister was leading devotions at our internal staff meeting on Tuesday and read from John 15. He got as far as verse 3 and stopped because he said he didn't understand it. And we discussed it. Bit of an impromptu devotion, but interesting. The passage is the vine and the branches and verse 3 is 'You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.' That comes after a verse about pruning and before a verse about 'remaining in me'. What has being clean got to do with it? our minister asked. And why already clean?
First, the NIV text note tells us that the Greek for clean is the same as that for prune. Which makes it more complicated - I think. I would have to guess that 'word' is logos in the Greek - my reference books being a few kilometres away from where I am.
So they are made clean (ok to be with God) by the message Jesus has spoken (the explanation of his saving work which had yet to be completed). Now their task is to remain in the vine and avoid the pruners shears. And God will keep them clean (pruned). Grace precedes our faith and obedience. But interesting that if this is right, the disciples are already justified before Jesus died and rose again. The period of Jesus' life sits on an interesting edge between the Old and New Testaments. A line that divides, but zoomed in has width.
Now I wonder if anyone understands what I am going on about!