John 15#Joh 15:1,2| I am the true vine. The use of the word "true" shows that Jesus refers to a typical vine. The Jewish people had been such a vine (#Isa 5:1 Ps 80:8-16 Jer 2:21|). Yet it was but "a figure of the true" (#Heb 9:24|). And my Father is the husbandman. God had now in Christ planted the true vine, and would dissever and cast off all that did not derive life from him, and would prune all that did. This vital connection with Christ is set forth by Paul under the figure of a body and its head (#Eph 5:23 Col 2:19|). The fact that Jesus had just given them the fruit of the vine to drink as the symbol of his blood made the transition to this figure easy and natural, for the branches derive their juices from the vine. (TFG 667) #Joh 15:2| And every branch that beareth fruit, he cleanseth it. By pruning. (TFG 667) #Joh 15:3| Already ye are clean because of the word which I have spoken unto you. It is God in Christ who cleanseth the soul, but this cleansing is effected through hearing, believing and obeying the Word. The Word tells us what to do that we may be cleansed and saved (#Eph 5:26 Jas 1:18|). (TFG 667) #Joh 15:4-6| Abide in me, and I in you, etc. The whole parable is intended to teach us Christ's relationships. 1. Toward the Father--Husbandman and Vine. 2. Toward man--Vine and branches. 3. Toward good works--Vine, branches, and fruit. 4. The negative condition, or lack of relationship--the Vine, the dissevered branches, the fire. (TFG 668) #Joh 15:7| If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Though this verse stands somewhat in contrast to the warning in #Joh 15:6|, it is rather a statement of causation than a promise of reward. If by communion and the study of the word we abide in Christ, our prayers will be of such a nature that it will fully accord with the divine counsel to answer them, for they will be prayers tending toward fruitfulness. (TFG 668) #Joh 15:8| Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; and so shall ye be my disciples. The spirit of Christ leads to those deeds which cause men to glorify God (#Mt 9:8 Lu 17:15|), and whoso does those deeds causes such glorification (#Mt 5:16|). Moreover, the spirit of Christ leads to abundant fruitfulness, and he who has it, not only performs charitable deeds, but converts the sinner and begets a spirit of goodness in those about him (#Mt 13:8-26 Php 4:17|); and this fruitfulness becomes an evidence or demonstration of true discipleship. (TFG 668) #Joh 15:9| Even as the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you: abide ye in my love. From the outward evidence of union with Christ, shown by the fruit, Jesus now turns to that inward bond of union which is the cause of fruitfulness. That bond is love. (TFG 668) #Joh 15:10| If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. Love is, as it were, the sap which passes back and forth between the Vine and branch, and that love is kept active and vital by the most practical of means--obedience to commandments, a means which the Lord himself does not hesitate to describe as efficient between himself and the Father, only claiming for himself the love of the Father because of a like obedience to that which he prescribed. "And our obedience must be impartial," says Jay; we must do 'whatsoever' he commands us." (TFG 668-669) #Joh 15:11| These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full. He had spoken the words of this discourse that the disciples might have a joy corresponding to his own. By perfect obedience he enjoyed a consciousness of the Father's presence and approval. By a like obedience the disciples might have a like sense of his presence and approval, and hence a like joy. (TFG 669) #Joh 15:12| This is my commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you. Jesus gives, as his supreme commandment, this law of love. The disciples are to love one another as intensely as Jesus loved them. (TFG 669) #Joh 15:13| Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. The measure of the intensity of his love is prophetically set forth by an allusion to his death on their behalf. But he died for his enemies as well as for his friends (#Ro 5:6|). (TFG 669) #Joh 15:14| Ye are my friends, if ye do the things which I command you. The commandments of Jesus were not to be obeyed in the spirit of bondmen, but in that of friends. (TFG 669) #Joh 15:15| For all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you. Jesus had shown his friendship by receiving his apostles into confidence as to the things which he had heard from his Father. (TFG 669) #Joh 15:16| Ye did not choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you. Jesus shows the stability of the friendship existing between him and the disciples in that origin of it lies in himself and not in them. For he chose them as friends before they chose him, gave them their high places as apostles without their solicitation, prepared them to bring forth lasting fruits, and gave them the privilege of supplementing their personal deficiencies by prayer made effective through his name. (TFG 699-700) #Joh 15:17| These things I command you, that ye may love one another. This includes all the precepts from the beginning of the thirteenth chapter. (TFG 670) #Joh 15:18| If the world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated me before it hated you. While teaching the fullness and richness of love which is to exist within the circle of discipleship, Jesus warns them that in opposition to it the outer circle of unconverted and sensual--that circle known as the world--would manifest a spirit of hatred. (TFG 670) #Joh 15:19| But because ye are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Since this world-spirit hated him, the disciples need not be surprised to find that it hated them when manifesting his spirit. (TFG 670) #Joh 15:20| Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord. #Joh 13:16|. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also. The apostles could rest assured that the messengers would receive like treatment with him who sent them. When, therefore, they found the world rejecting their message they could cheer themselves with the expectation that a few at least would receive it, since a few had always received the words of the Master. (TFG 670) #Joh 15:21| But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. Christians in the early ages were persecuted for bearing the name of Christ by those who were ignorant of God. But this name, hateful to the world, was sweet to the disciples. For opposition to the name, see #Ac 5:28 1Pe 4:14 Re 3:8|. For joy in it see #Ac 5:41 2Co 12:10 Ga 6:17|. (TFG 670) #Joh 15:22| If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin. Jesus does not mean to say that the world would have committed no sin at all if he had kept away from it. The meaning is that it would not have been guilty of the sin of rejecting Jesus. They would have been excusable. (TFG 670) #Joh 15:24| If I had not done among them the works which none other did, they had not had sin. See TFG "#Joh 15:22|". But now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. Though the great proof of the hatred of Christ was yet to come, it is spoken of as if it had passed. (TFG 671) #Joh 15:25| They hated me without a cause. #Ps 35:19 69:4|. (TFG 671) #Joh 15:26| But when the Comforter is come . . . he shall bear witness of me. One of the principal offices of the Spirit is to testify of Christ (#Joh 16:13-15|). The Spirit testified through the apostles and other messengers (#Ac 2:4|), so that in a sense the apostles were double witnesses. They themselves could testify as to what they had seen and heard. The Spirit could aid them to testify accurately, and with a full intelligence as to the real meaning of things. The Spirit also gave attention to apostolic testimony by enabling the apostles to work miracles. (TFG 671) #Joh 15:27| Because ye have been with me from the beginning. #Ac 1:21,22|.
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