John 15

John 15

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I Am the True Vine

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

The Hatred of the World

“If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father also. If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

(ESV)


John 15 Commentary

by Hank Workman

We can’t do it on our own.  Oh, we’ve tried countless times.  We attempt to make things work in our own strength.  We go down paths even that we believe to be the right one.  Many times we put our stock in things that are not in the end what matter.

We live apart from the Vine of Jesus countless times.

Jesus makes it clear in his words to the disciples and ultimately to us we cannot do anything that matters without Him.  We must be connected to His way and His will.  He is the Vine, we are the branches.  God as the Master Gardner cares for the branches of His people to make them more fruitful.  Within this, yes He prunes back things.  But this is toward the greater harvest even within our own lives of fruit.

I sit here and reflect on how easily it is to become discouraged in various things.  All too often we look toward some outcome or proposed desire that has not come to fruition.  And being honest, when those times come all too often I’ve lost the spiritual connection I need to maintain the vision of God and desire He holds for us.  Jesus makes it so clear here that our connection must always be in Him, not in things we hope or aspire to – even if they are godly.  He still must be the One who holds the ultimate connection with us.

We must abide in Him.  We must.  This abiding requires our reliance on Him for direction.  This abiding requires our ultimate connection to Him.  This abiding requires our obedience in the small and great things.  He longs to produce fruit in our lives – this is His desire – but we must stay and be connected, abiding in His presence.


John 15 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

“It makes no sense to me!” the woman proclaimed. “I can’t comprehend the concept of one way to God for only one simple reason. There are still people in this world who will never hear it. The village in India… they may never hear about Christianity except perhaps as a term. It makes no sense to me that a loving God would condemn them to hell for not believing in Jesus.”

“I’ve got some good news for you,” the evangelist replied. “Nobody goes to hell for not believing in Jesus. People go to hell because of their sin. Those people are sinning against the God they know exists. That’s why we send missionaries. If they didn’t know, sending missionaries would be the worst thing for them.”

John 15:22 HCSB  If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin.

Jesus came with a message from God. He carried the truth in the flesh, spoke the words of God directly to humanity’s ears, and welcomed sinners into His presence to be healed. The world, by in large, looked at Him and hated Him. Why did humanity hate God when He came to Earth to save us?

John 15:23-24 HCSB  The one who hates Me also hates My Father.  24  If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both Me and My Father.

Jesus’ coming to Earth is proof that humanity’s heart is full of sin. Again, this is a central theme in John’s gospel. Jesus is God in the flesh. He is totally and completely obedient to God. He came to do the works of God and speak the words of God. If we reject Jesus, we reject God – it’s as simple as that.

But there is comfort. Jesus says if we find ourselves being targeted with hatred from the world for following Him, this is proof that we truly are following Him. They don’t really hate you. They hate God and everything He stands for.

“Such suffering is not outside God’s providential care. It corresponds to a pattern found in Scripture, which is what fulfill means here (John 15:25). The rejection of Jesus and his disciples is found in the very law to which those rejecting them claim to be loyal, thus further demonstrating their culpability.” IVP New Testament Commentary

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