SUMMARY.--The Vine and the Branches. Bearing Fruit. Glorifying the Father. The Greatest Love. The World's Hatred. The Cloak for Sin.
13, 14. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. The highest human exhibition of love that earth has ever seen was this. Christ was about to exhibit this highest type of human love by dying for his friends. He did even more, as Paul shows us in Rom. 5:6 , he died for his enemies, something that man had never done.
15. I call you not servants; . . . I have called you friends. Christ's disciples serve him, but their service is not bondage, but that of love. Hence, they are friends instead of servants.
16. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you. Each one of the eleven apostles present had been chosen, called, by the Lord, from among his disciples. They did not choose him, but he them, in order that they might bring forth abundant fruit in the conversion of the world.
18. If the world hate you. The world is the unregenerate portion of mankind. It hated and slew the Lord. It has never loved his disciples. Satan is its prince.
20. They will also persecute you. The servants must expect similar treatment to that given the Master. The long roll of Christian martyrs shows how this has been verified.
21. For my name's sake. That name, so sweet to the saved, is a hateful thing to his enemies. Jewish persecutors bade Christians to teach no more in the name; Gentile rulers bade them blaspheme the name or die.
22. If I had not come . . . they had not had sin. Certain conclusions follow: (1) The degree of our sin is measured by our opportunities; (2) increased opportunities bring a consciousness of sin; light in the room enables us to see the dirt; (3) the sin of sins is the rejection of Christ. Since he came there is no cloak, no covering, no excuse. Those who refuse Christ die in their sins, because they will not part from them.
24. If I had not done, etc. The proof of his divine mission was such that they were left without excuse. Hated both me and my Father. The Jews claimed to love God, but when God, manifest in the flesh, appeared, they hated him. The hatred of Christ is the hate of God.
27. Ye also shall bear witness. The apostles had been "with him from the beginning," and knew all the facts. If he was true, they knew it; if he stilled the waves and raised the dead, they knew it; if he rose from the tomb, they knew it. They bore witness to him by word and left their words to us. They bore witness by life, gave up all for him and died for their testimony. Such testimony is the strongest human testimony ever offered to any fact.