On May 29th of 2009, a group of 45 Navy Seals were passing by Mike Monsoor, a sailor serving in Iraq. As they passed, Mike saw something rolling across the ground into the crowd of servicemen. He lept on top of it and it exploded, killing him, but not injuring any other the others.

In John 15:13, Jesus tells us, “No one has greater love than this – that one lays down his life for his friends.” This is the love that Mike showed for his brothers, men who he did not know, but who shared the uniform of the sailor.

John 15 shares much with the believer about abiding in Christ. We first hear about the vine and that we, as branches, must bear fruit. Christ’s direction to us in this chapter is that we love one another. This is not a direction for believers to love unbelievers, but for believers to love other believers. But with love being the english word for 4 different greek words, Agape (unconditional), Eros (romantic), Philia (friendship or brotherly), Storge (affection or familial), it is important to understand which love Jesus is talking about here. Throughout John 15, it is agape love which Jesus is using. This is the unconditional love which God shows for Jesus and for man. This is the love Christ calls us to have for our fellow believer, for our brothers in Christ.

So how do we apply this love, this unconditional support? As Mike Monsoor jumped on a grenade for his brothers, is there a grenade that you can jump on for your Christian brother? Remember this isn’t a grenade to protect the unbelievers, but to protect fellow believers. The grenades that we face are the grenades which can harm our walk with Christ. A few of the grenades I have seen in my walk are pride, convience, and passivity. Passivity is a big one for me. But how does one jump on this metephorical grenade? If your church’s youth need a leader, intead of stepping aside and hoping someone steps up, a biblical man will step up to fill the role, even if only while a better match is found. If a mission needs a strong leader, the biblical man will find a way to fill this role. The hardest passivity grenade to jump on is the one of standing up when you believe Christ is being misrepresented. To jump on this grenade, a man must be willing to stand up and proclaim Christ even though your proclaimation may bring hardship on yourself. This same grenade could be the one which you jump on by proclaiming Christ in the darkness, evangelizing to the world unceasingly.

Let’s take another look at Mike Monsoor. Jumping on that grenade cost 1 sailor his life, but in jumping, he saved the lives of at leat 45 others. He was awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor post-humously, but that wasn’t the reward that draws the most attention. At his funeral, the pallbearers carried his rosewood casket down two columns of friends, well-wishers, and family. Unknown to the rest in attendance, the 45 Navy Seals who were saved by Mike Monsoor’s sacrifice were standing in those columns. As the casket passed each of them, they plucked thier trident from thier uniform, slapped it down on the casket, and saluted, before peeling off and following the casket to the gravesite. While the casket began as a simple redwood box, by the time it arrived at it’s final resting place, the Seals had made it a gold encrusted one.

For those who don’t understand the impact of those 45 tridents, here’s a breakdown of the significance. After one completes the Basic Navy Seals Program which lasts for three weeks, and is followed by Seal Qualification Training, which is 15 more weeks of training, necessary to continue improving basic skills and to learn new tactics and techniques, required for an assignment to a Navy Seal Platoon. After successful completion, trainees are given their Naval Enlisted Code, and are awarded The Navy Seal Trident Pin. With this gold pin they are now officially Navy Seals!

With the 45 slaps that were heard around the cemetary, the Seals were naming Mike Monsoor one of thier own. They were naming him a Navy Seal. They were calling him brother. They were calling him friend.

John 15 is Jesus telling us the same thing. The reward that we recieve for abiding in Christ’s simple words of “Love one another” is that of friendship. Christ tells us that we are his friends if we follow this command. Mike Monsoor showed his love for his brothers whom he had never met. What grenade will you jump on for your friends?

Until the Whole World Knows,

Paul

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