Our Lord now uttered the great allegory of the vine. Certain words in it arrest our attention, "the vine," "the branches," "the fruit." The close interrelationship between these is emphasized, and our Lord declared, "I am the Vine, ye are the branches." The vine includes all-root, stem, branches, leaves, and fruit. No figure of speech could more perfectly set forth the intimate relationship between Christ and His own.
In applying the truth, the commandments of the Lord are found in remarkable setting. The first, "Abide ye in My love"; the second, "Love one another." In this connection He dealt with the ministry of the Spirit in this application.
Their relationship to Him, issuing in likeness to Him, must bring on them the hatred and persecution of the world which already had been brought on Him. Jesus declared this hatred to be finally hatred of the Father. The measure in which His disciples produce the fruitage of His life will be the measure of their revelation of the Father, with its protest against worldliness; and so it must be the measure of the world's hatred of them. Nevertheless, in the Comforter there would be a ministry directly for the world. That testimony is to be borne by the Spirit in His co-operation with the Church.
the Second Week after Epiphany