John 15:1-27 "Exposition on the Gospel of John Chapter 15 "The True Vine"
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every 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. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will* ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Jesus Christ in this chapter as He compares himself as the “true vine” gives a teaching course on the production of “fruit” ( converted people), that would be the result of evangelistic work done by His disciples both then and in these modern times. (the church). Israel historically was chosen to be HIS people and they role has always been to share the oracles the Lord gave to them through the Mosaic Law and their practical living and worship to the true and living God Jehovah (Yahweh) Because of their overwhelming desire to be like other nations and constantly guilty of worshipping other gods, Jesus called 12 men of different background to follow Him and become “fishers of men”. His disciple were to bring forth from their work on the evangelistic field as he sent them out 2 by 2 and prepared them for their future expanded ministry when after His crucifixion and resurrection they would be empowered by the Holy Spirit to go forth into all the world. He uses the illustration of the vine because the nature of a vine sprout forth branches and as the branches expand and grow, they would produce fruit. (converts to Christ). For more information on the “True Vine: Look at the paradigm Jesus raises concerning the vine:
- He is the vine, planted in the vineyard. According to John 1:14, He is the “Word of God” made flesh. The vine has an unsightly unpromising outside; and Christ had no form nor comeliness,( Isaiah 53:2.)
- As a vine spreads out in order to produce fruit, the “Good news of Jesus Christ will be known “the power of God unto salvation” to everyone that believes it and embraces HIM here on earth. The fruit of the vine honors God and cheers man (Judges 9:13), In like manner, the fruit of Christ's mediation( the souls of men and women) it is better than gold, (Proverbs 8:19).
- As the truth is opposed to pretence and counterfeit; Jesus is really a fruitful plant, a plant of renown. He is not like that wild vine (satan) which deceived those who gathered of it (2 Kings 4:39), but a true vine. Unfruitful trees are said to lie (Habakkuk 3:17), but Christ is a vine that will not deceive. Whatever excellency there is in any creature, serviceable to man, it is but a shadow of that grace which is in Christ for his people's good. He is that true vine typified by Judah's vine, which enriched him with the blood of the grape (Genesis 49:11), by Joseph's vine, the branches of which ran over the wall (Genesis 49:22), by Israel's vine, under which he dwelt safely, 1 Kings 4:25
Concerning the Branches of the “Vine” “2 types” (vs. 2-3)
- Fruit bearing branches are purged, that is trimmed from dead area so the branch can produce more fruit. As disciples of Christ evangelism is our life’s work. In order to spread the gospel to more people and share the good news of Jesus Christ, God will at times alter our everyday living situations in order to remove any hindrances to our witnessing and evangelizing the world.
- Non- fruit bearing branches are cut away and burned, that is every person who refuses to accept Jesus Christ will be cast into the Lake of Fire to be punished for eternity and banned from the presence of Almighty God eternally. If the believer is fruitful he is purged to produce more fruit. If he is fruitless he is taken away or removed from being part of the vine. The Father does this, not man. No man is able to pluck one branch from God's hands, Jesus said let the tares (Non evangelizing) and the wheat ( evangelizing) grow together and at harvest time, He would separate them.
- State of “believers” You are clean.” Through the word which I (Jesus) have spoken unto you. This referred to their condition prior to Jesus’ crucifixion and before Pentecost in Acts 2.
- Jesus said: “abide, dwell, continue your focus and dedicate your living in Jesus. Fruit bearing would be hindered otherwise.
- Remember: I am the VINE You are the BRANCHES: “Without me (abiding in Jesus) you can do nothing. Your ability to bear fruit rest on your relationship with Jesus. You who abide in Me and I abide in him will bring forth much fruit.
- Jesus said: “If a man is does not abide in Him (a man or woman whose soul is not united in faith to Him or does not live their lives in dependence of Him to supply their every need) will be cut off from the vine, wither away and gathered up and burned in the fire.
- Jesus reiterates: If you abide in Me and MY words abide in you, you can ask what you will and it shall be done unto you. This promise had particular reference to the apostles. It applies to us only so far as we find ourselves in circumstances similar to the apostles, and only so far as we possess their spirit. We learn from it that it is only when we keep the commandments of Christ-only when we live by faith in him, and his words are suffered to control our conduct and affections, that our prayers will be heard.
a. Because it shows the excellence of his law which requires it.
b. Because it shows the power of his gospel, and of that grace which can overcome the evil propensities of the heart and produce it.
c. Because the Christian is restored to the divine image, and it shows how excellent is the character after which they are formed. They imitate God, and the world sees that God’s purpose for man is to cause him to walk in holiness and to produce in us that which is lovely, and true, and honest, and of good report. By doing this we shall be His Disciples. Discipleship is not a profession. It’s a call to live a holy life, that the character is tried. The Savior says that those who bear MUCH fruit are they who are his disciples. The design and tendency of the Christian religion is to compel men to do much good, and to call forth all their strength, and time, and talents in the work for which the Savior laid down his life.
Abiding in Jesus Christ: “Conditions and Blessings” (vs. 9-14)
- Jesus loves us the same way God the Father loved Him, therefore we are to abide (continue) in Jesus’ love.
- If we keep His commandments, we shall continue in Jesus’ love just like Jesus did in God the Father’s love.
- Jesus told the disciples (and us) these things (written) that the joy of the Lord would remain in us and at full capacity. That kind of love will deliver you from despondency and despair and the grief you are experiencing behind the fact that I’m (Jesus) about to leave you.
- Jesus commands that we love one another the same way He has shown love toward us. That is the same affection, having a willingness to endure the trials of life, practice self-denial and if need be give your all so others can experience a better life.
- The greatest love is a sacrificial love where a person for the sake of others (friends) lay down their lives. Life is the most valuable object we possess; and when a man is willing to lay down his own life for his friends or his country, it shows the utmost extent of love. Even this love for friends has been rarely witnessed.
- Jesus declared: “You are my friends, “IF” you do whatever I command you.
. You will share equally with Me in My inheritance if you share in.
Jesus’ Proof of Friendship with Us (vs. 15-17)
- From this point on….I’m not calling you servants…I’m calling you friends.
A servant doesn’t know all his lord (leader) does. A friend is privy to all things the Lord conveys from God the Father.
- You have been chosen….Jesus said I have chose you, ordained you that you should go forth so your fruit shall remain….That whatever you ask of the Father in my name (authority)…He (God the Father) may give it to you.
1. Go and bring forth fruit.
2. Produce eternal works.
3.Get an answer to every prayer.
- Jesus reiterates: I command these things that you love one another
Jesus: “Hated by the World” (vs. 18-21)
There are at least 12 reasons why the world (Satanic system) hates the Christian church:
a. Jesus predicted it (John 15:18-21).
b. The world hates reproof (correction) (John 3:19).
c. Its evils are exposed by Christian living (Romans 12:2)(Titus 2:11-12).
d. Its darkness is exposed by Christian light (John 3:18-20)(Philippians 2:15).
e. It is blind (2 Corinthians 4:4).
f. Christians are not of it (John 15:19; 17:14-16).
g. It is at war with Christians (John 16:33; Eph 6:12; 1 John 5:4).
h. It has natural enmity against God (James 4:4; Matt 18:7).
i. Christians hate its ways (1 John 2:15-17).
j. Christians live separated from it (James 1:27)( Romans 12:2)
k. It is ignorant of Christian experience (Galatians 2:20)
(2 Corinthians 5:17).
l. It is ignorant of God (John 15:21).
Remember: Jesus said: “The servant is not greater than his lord.” IF they have persecuted ME, (pursued HIM with malignant intent) they will also persecute you. (in the same manner) If they had kept my sayings, they will keep yours too. But all these things they (the world) will do unto you for MY sake, because they (the world) don't know HIM (Jehovah/Yahweh God the Father) that sent ME. (Jesus)
Why the World hates both Jehovah God and Jesus Christ: (vs. 22-25)
- Jesus said: If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not sin: but now since I spoke and exposed their true condition, they have no cloke for their sin. (they can’t hide or cover up their sin) That is, if Jesus had not come and proved to them beyond doubt that He was the Messiah they would not have had the sin of rejecting HIM, but now they have no excuse for this sin. They willfully hate both Me and My Father. So, Jesus said in the next verse…
- Anyone who hates Jesus hates God the Father also.
- They have seen and rejected the works Jesus did among them, works no other person had done before. Now, they have both seen and hated Jesus and God the Father.
- This (event) came to pass that the word might be fulfilled that is written (Old Testament Prophecy) in their law. They hated me without a cause
(This is the 10th Old Testament Prophecy fulfilled in the Gospel of John)
When the Comforter comes,(whom Jesus will send from God the Father) also called “the Spirit of Truth” which proceeds (comes after ME) from God the Father in My name (authority) HE shall testify of ME IN 4 ways:
The Holy Spirit will bear witness in the world by anointing men.....
- In preaching (Luke 4:18; Acts 2:11-39; 1 Corinthians 1:17-18,23; 2)
- In prophesying (Acts 3:21) ( Acts 11:27) (Chapters 13:1,32; 21:10; and 1 Corinthians 12:10,28)
- In the exercise of other gifts (1 Corinthians 12:10 and vs. 30) and Chapter 14:5,13,27)
- In making audible intercession with groanings which cannot be uttered in words (Romans 8:26) and finally……
Dr. William Edward Boddie