1I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.2Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.3You are already clean because of the Word which I have spoken to you.4Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.5I am the Vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for apart from Me there is not a thing you are able to do. 6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is dried up; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7If you abide in Me, and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall happen unto you.8In this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; thus you will be My disciples.9As the Father loves Me, I also love you; continue in My love.10If you keep My commandments, you will continue in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and continue in His love.11These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.12This is My commandment, that you love one another as I love you.13Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.14You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.15No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master does; but I have called you friends, for all things that I hear from My Father I make known to you.16You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.17These things I command you, that you love one another.18If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before you.19If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.20Remember 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 keep yours also.21But all these things they will do to you on account of My name, because they do not know Him who sent Me.22If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.23He who hates Me hates My Father also.24If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin. But now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.25Moreover, that the Word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, They hated Me without a cause.26But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness concerning Me.27And you also will bear witness, because you are with Me from the beginning.
Jamieson Fausset Brown Bible Commentary 1
DISCOURSE AT THE SUPPER TABLE CONTINUED. (John 15:1-27)
The spiritual oneness of Christ and His people, and His relation to them as the Source of all their spiritual life and fruitfulness, are here beautifully set forth by a figure familiar to Jewish ears (Isa 5:1
I am the true vine--of whom the vine of nature is but a shadow.
my Father is the husbandman--the great Proprietor of the vineyard, the Lord of the spiritual kingdom. (It is surely unnecessary to point out the claim to supreme divinity involved in this). 2
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit . . . every branch that beareth fruit--As in a fruit tree, some branches may be fruitful, others quite barren, according as there is a vital connection between the branch and the stock, or no vital connection; so the disciples of Christ may be spiritually fruitful or the reverse, according as they are vitally and spiritually connected with Christ, or but externally and mechanically attached to Him. The fruitless He "taketh away" (see on John 15:6
); the fruitful He "purgeth" (cleanseth, pruneth)--stripping it, as the husbandman does, of what is rank (Mark 4:19
), "that it may bring forth more fruit"; a process often painful, but no less needful and beneficial than in the natural husbandry. 3
ye are clean through--by reason of.
the word I have spoken to you--already in a purified, fruitful condition, in consequence of the long action upon them of that searching "word" which was "as a refiner's fire" (Mal 3:2
Abide in me, and I in you; as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, &c.--As all spiritual fruitfulness had been ascribed to the mutual inhabitation, and living, active interpenetration (so to speak) of Christ and His disciples, so here the keeping up of this vital connection is made essential to continued fruitfulness. 5
without me--apart, or vitally disconnected from Me.
ye can do nothing--spiritually, acceptably. 6
If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch . . . withered . . . cast into the fire . . . burned--The one proper use of the vine is to bear fruit; failing this, it is good for one other thing--fuel. (See Ezek 15:1
). How awfully striking the figure, in this view of it! 7
If ye abide in me, and my words . . . in you--Mark the change from the inhabitation of Himself to that of His words, paving the way for the subsequent exhortations (John 15:9
ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you--because this indwelling of His words in them would secure the harmony of their askings with the divine will. 8
glorified that ye bear much fruit--not only from His delight in it for its own sake, but as from "the juices of the Living Vine."
so shall ye be my disciples--evidence your discipleship. 9
continue ye in my love--not, "Continue to love Me," but, "Continue in the possession and enjoyment of My love to you"; as is evident from the next words. 10
If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love--the obedient spirit of true discipleship cherishing and attracting the continuance and increase of Christ's love; and this, He adds, was the secret even of His own abiding in His Father's love! 12
That ye love one another, &c.--(See on John 13:34
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends--The emphasis lies not on "friends," but on "laying down his life" for them; that is, "One can show no greater regard for those dear to him than to give his life for them, and this is the love ye shall find in Me." 14
Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you--hold yourselves in absolute subjection to Me. 15
Henceforth I call you not servants--that is, in the sense explained in the next words; for servants He still calls them (John 15:20
), and they delight to call themselves so, in the sense of being "under law to Christ" (1Cor 9:20
the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth--knows nothing of his master's plans and reasons, but simply receives and executes his orders.
but . . . friends, for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you--admitted you to free, unrestrained fellowship, keeping back nothing from you which I have received to communicate. (Compare Gen 18:17
; Ps 25:14
; Isa 50:4
Ye have not chosen me, but I . . . you--a wholesale memento after the lofty things He had just said about their mutual indwelling, and the unreservedness of the friendship they had been admitted to.
you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit--that is, give yourselves to it.
and that your fruit should remain--showing itself to be an imperishable and ever growing principle. (Compare Pro 4:18
; 2John 1:8
that whatsoever ye shall ask, &c.--(See on John 15:7
The substance of these important verses has occurred more than once before. (See on Matt 10:34
; Luke 12:49
, &c.). 22
(See on John 9:39
If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin--comparatively none; all other sins being light compared with the rejection of the Son of God.
now they have no cloak for their sin--rather, "pretext." 24
If I had not done . . . the works which none other . . . did--(See on John 12:37
that the word might be fulfilled . . . They hated me without a cause--quoted from the Messianic Ps 69:4
, applied also in the same sense in John 2:17
; Acts 1:20
; Rom 11:9
; Rom 15:3
(See on John 14:15
; John 14:17
ye also shall bear witness--rather, "are witnesses"; with reference indeed to their future witness-bearing, but putting the emphasis upon their present ample opportunities for acquiring their qualifications for that great office, inasmuch as they had been "with Him from the beginning." (See on Luke 1:2