In Bible times, something was really important if it was repeated. Jesus would say ‘Truly, truly I tell you…” meaning it’s something to take note of. God is described as “Holy, holy, holy.” It’s such a big deal that just saying it once is not enough.

We still do this today. Have you ever heard a commercial say “Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!” or told a fishing story about the really, really big fish? Things are repeated to make sure that someone is paying attention to true magnitude of what’s being said.

In John 15:1-11, Jesus is spending his last moment on Earth with his disciples. He tells them that he is the ‘True Vine.’ If repeating something two or three times means that you need to pay attention, what do you think it means if Jesus repeats something thirteen times?

In those eleven verses, Jesus uses the term ‘remain in me’, or some variant of that, thirteen times. In the last few moments of his life here on Earth, this was a prominent message that he wanted his disciples, and us, to know: remain in Christ. Don’t give up. Hold fast to what we have been taught. And live each day with the joy and hope that someday soon we will see him face to face.

Today, may you have great, great, great joy in Christ.