15:1 I am the true vine1, and my Father is the husbandman2. John 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 (Psalms
2:21). Yet it was but "a figure of the true" (Hebrews
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 (Ephesians
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.
15:3 Already ye
are clean because of the word which I have spoken unto you1.
Already ye are clean because of the word which I have spoken unto you.
It is God in Christ who cleanses 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 (Ephesians
15:4 Abide in me,
and I in you1. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself,
except it abide in the vine; so neither can ye, except ye abide in me.
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.
15:7 If ye abide
in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatsoever ye will1,
and it shall be done unto you.
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 John
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.
15:8 Herein is my
Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit1; and
[so] shall ye be my disciples2.
Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit. The spirit
of Christ leads to those deeds which cause men to glorify God (Matthew
And [so] shall ye be my disciples. 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 (Matthew
4:17); and this fruitfulness becomes an evidence or demonstration of
15:9 Even as the
Father hath loved me, I also have loved you: abide ye in my love1.
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.
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 love1.
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. Says Jay,
"And our obedience must be impartial; we must do
"whatsoever" he commands us."
things have I spoken unto you, that my joy may be in you, and [that] your joy
may be made full1.
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.
15:12 This is my
commandment, that ye love one another, even as I have loved you1.
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
love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends1.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for
his friends. The measure of the intensity of Jesus' 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.
15:14 Ye are my
friends, if ye do the things which I command you1.
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.
15:15 No longer do I call you servants;
for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for
all things that I heard from my Father, I have made known unto you1.
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.
15:16 Ye did not
choose me, but I chose you, and appointed you1, that ye
should go and bear fruit, and [that] your fruit should abide: that whatsoever ye
shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
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 the privilege of supplementing
their personal deficiencies by prayer made effective through his name.
things I command you, that ye may love one another1.
These things I command you, that ye may love one another. This
includes all the precepts from the beginning of chapter 13.
15:18 If the
world hateth you, ye know that it hath hated me before [it hated] you1.
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.
15:19 If ye were of the world, the world
would love its own: but because ye are not of the
world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you1.
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 Jesus, the
disciples need not be surprised to find that it hated them when manifesting
the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord1.
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you2;
if they kept my word, they will keep yours also3.
Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than
his lord. See John
If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. The apostles
could rest assured that the messengers would receive like treatment with him
who sent them.
If they kept my word, they will keep yours also. 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.
15:21 But all
these things will they do unto you for my name's sake1,
because they know not him that sent me.
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 disciples. For opposition to the name, see Acts
5:28 1 Peter
3:8. For joy in it, see Acts
5:41; 2 Corinthians
15:22 If I had
not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin1: but
now they have no excuse for their sin.
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.
15:24 If I had
not done among them the works which none other did, they had not had sin1:
but now have they both seen and hated both me and my
If I had not done among them the works which none other did, they had
not had sin. See John
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.
15:25 But [this cometh to pass], that the
word may be fulfilled that is written in their law, They
hated me without a cause1.
They hated me without a cause. See Psalms
15:26 But when the Comforter is come,
whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which
proceedeth from the Father, he shall bear witness of me:
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 (John
16:13-15). The Spirit testified through the apostles and other
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.
15:27 and ye also bear witness, because
ye have been with me from the beginning1.
Because ye have been with me from the beginning. See Acts