John 15

The Vine and the Branches

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful.
3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.
10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
17 This is my command: Love each other.

The World Hates the Disciples

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.
19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.
20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[b] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.
23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.
24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father.
25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’[c]
26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me.
27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

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John 15 Commentary

Chapter 15

Christ the true Vine. (1-8) His love to his disciples. (9-17) foretold. (18-25) The Comforter promised. (26,27)

Verses 1-8 Jesus Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of the human and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that is in him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by the moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up. The Father is the Husbandman. Never was any husbandman so wise, so watchful, about his vineyard, as God is about his church, which therefore must prosper. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temper, disposition, and life. We must honour God, and do good; this is bearing fruit. The unfruitful are taken away. And even fruitful branches need pruning; for the best have notions, passions, and humours, that require to be taken away, which Christ has promised to forward the sanctification of believers, they will be thankful, for them. The word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we bring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more our Lord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with him by faith. It is the great concern of all Christ's disciples, constantly to keep up dependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those who abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in outward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittest place for withered branches; they are good for nothing else. Let us seek to live more simply on the fulness of Christ, and to grow more fruitful in every good word and work, so may our joy in Him and in his salvation be full.

Verses 9-17 Those whom God loves as a Father, may despise the hatred of all the world. As the Father loved Christ, who was most worthy, so he loved his disciples, who were unworthy. All that love the Saviour should continue in their love to him, and take all occasions to show it. The joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment, but the joy of those who abide in Christ's love is a continual feast. They are to show their love to him by keeping his commandments. If the same power that first shed abroad the love of Christ's in our hearts, did not keep us in that love, we should not long abide in it. Christ's love to us should direct us to love each other. He speaks as about to give many things in charge, yet names this only; it includes many duties.

Verses 18-25 How little do many persons think, that in opposing the doctrine of Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, they prove themselves ignorant of the one living and true God, whom they profess to worship! The name into which Christ's disciples were baptized, is that which they will live and die by. It is a comfort to the greatest sufferers, if they suffer for Christ's name's sake. The world's ignorance is the true cause of its hatred to the disciples of Jesus. The clearer and fuller the discoveries of the grace and truth of Christ, the greater is our sin if we do not love him and believe in him.

26,27. The blessed Spirit will maintain the cause of Christ in the world, notwithstanding the opposition it meets with. Believers taught and encouraged by his influences, would bear testimony to Christ and his salvation.

Cross References 43

  • 1. S John 6:35
  • 2. Psalms 80:8-11; Isaiah 5:1-7
  • 3. ver 6; S Matthew 3:10
  • 4. Psalms 92:14; Matthew 3:8; Matthew 7:20; Galatians 5:22; Ephesians 5:9; Philippians 1:11
  • 5. John 13:10; John 17:17; Ephesians 5:26
  • 6. S John 6:56; 1 John 2:6
  • 7. ver 16
  • 8. ver 2; Ezekiel 15:4; S Matthew 3:10
  • 9. ver 4; S John 6:56
  • 10. S Matthew 7:7
  • 11. S Matthew 9:8; Matthew 5:16
  • 12. John 8:31
  • 13. Jn 17:23,24,26
  • 14. S John 14:15
  • 15. S John 3:29; John 17:13
  • 16. ver 17; S John 13:34
  • 17. Genesis 44:33; John 10:11; Romans 5:7,8
  • 18. Job 16:20; Proverbs 18:24; Luke 12:4
  • 19. Matthew 12:50
  • 20. John 8:26
  • 21. ver 19; John 6:70; John 13:18
  • 22. ver 5
  • 23. S Matthew 7:7
  • 24. ver 12
  • 25. Isaiah 66:5; John 7:7; 1 John 3:13
  • 26. ver 16
  • 27. John 17:14
  • 28. S John 13:16
  • 29. 2 Timothy 3:12
  • 30. Isaiah 66:5; Matthew 5:10,11; Matthew 10:22; Luke 6:22; Acts 5:41; 1 Peter 4:14; Revelation 2:3
  • 31. John 16:3
  • 32. Ezekiel 2:5; Ezekiel 3:7
  • 33. John 9:41; Romans 1:20; Romans 2:1
  • 34. John 5:36
  • 35. John 9:41
  • 36. S John 10:34
  • 37. Psalms 35:19; Psalms 69:4; Psalms 109:3
  • 38. John 14:16
  • 39. John 14:26; John 16:7
  • 40. S John 14:17
  • 41. 1 John 5:7
  • 42. S Luke 24:48; John 21:24; 1 John 1:2; 1 John 4:14
  • 43. S Luke 1:2

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. The Greek for "he prunes" also means "he cleans" .
  • [b]. John 13:16
  • [c]. Psalms 35:19; 69:4

John 15 Commentaries

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