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Bible Commentaries
John 15

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy ScripturesEverett's Study Notes

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Verses 1-17

Jesus is the True Vine - In John 15:1-17 Jesus teaches the disciples about His departure. In order to help them understand their relationship with Him after His departure, He speaks of Himself figuratively as the True Vine and they are likened to the branches. Jesus describes Himself with a new name in this chapter, never before used until now. However, the underlying message is to teach His disciples how to abide in the Holy Spirit after His resurrection and departure. He does this by using the metaphor of a vine and its branches. Since Jesus has discussed the coming of the Holy Spirit in John 14:1-27, He must now teach them how to abide in Him once they have received Him.

In his book The Call Rick Joyner gives a good explanation of the meaning of this passage, “Your words will have this power when you abide in Me,” Wisdom interjected. “I did not call you to preach about Me; I called you to be a voice that I could speak through. As you abide in Me and My words abide in you, you will bear fruit that will remain. By My word, the creation was brought forth, and by My word the new creation will come forth in you and in My people. My words are Spirit and Life. My words give Life. You are not called to just teach about Me, but to let Me teach through you. As you dwell in My presence, your words will be My words, and they will have power.” [241]

[241] Rick Joyner, The Call (Charlotte, North Carolina: Morning Star Publications, 1999), 176.

The best example of the principle of abiding in Christ can be found in the Garden of Eden, where Abraham communed with God each day, and laboured in the Garden as an overflow of His love for God.

The Fruit of the Spirit - Jesus is our example in all things. He abounded in the “fruits” of the Spirit, which included the gifts of the Spirit. As we abide in Jesus, the supernatural gifts of the Spirit will begin to manifest in us naturally, without effort. Note these words from Frances J. Roberts:

“For I have not purposed simply to bring you into My family and have you remain as babes or children. I am concerned with your maturity: your growth in wisdom and knowledge of things pertaining to Myself; with the perfection of your ministry; and with the producing of the fruits of the Spirit in your life. And so to this end, I have provided for you the “ministries” and “gifts” of My Holy Spirit. As ye receive these by faith, and as ye walk in these by faith, so that I am allowed to manifest Myself through you in this way, ye will find that ye will grow in Me, yea, grow in grace and in your knowledge of Me, and ye will find the “fruits” of the Spirit will begin to appear in thy life quiet naturally, even as apples appear on the apple tree, though the tree takes no thought and experiences no effort or anxiety.” [242]

[242] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 120.


“It is a joy to My heart when My children rely upon Me. I delight in working things out for thee, but I delight even more in thee thyself than in anything I do to help thee. Even so, I want you to delight in Me just for Myself, rather than in anything ye do for Me. Service is the salvage of love. It is like the twelve baskets of bread that were left over. The bread partaken of was like fellowship mutually given; and the excess and overflow was a symbol of service. I do not expect thee to give to others until ye have first thyself been a partaker. I will provide you with plentiful supply to give if ye first come to receive for thine own needs. This is in no way selfishness. It is the Law of Life. Can the stalk of corn produce the ear unless first it receive its own life from the parent seed? No more can ye produce fruit in thy ministry except ye be impregnated with divine life from its source in God Himself . It was from the hands of the Christ that the multitudes received bread. From His hands ye also must receive thy nurture, the Bread of Life to sustain thy health and thy life.” [243]

[243] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 153.

Jesus is the True Vine, and We are the Branches - A vine is designed by God to give life, sustains life by providing the branch everything it needs to live. The vine is a vivid illustration with which all the disciples are familiar. Grapes and wine were a common crop in Israel, especially as a metaphor for illustrating the need to bear “fruit” in the Kingdom of God. The disciples understood the need to prune the grapevine. It has a main stem, many large branches, more smaller branches and then the fruit. Every winter many branches are pruned back so that there will new, healthy branches that are able to bear more fruit the next season.

Jesus describes God the Father as the vinedresser, and Himself as the vine, which is subject to the farmer. Hebrews 5:8 confirms this when it says, “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered.”

The Analogy of the Vine in Scripture - The analogy of Israel and the Church as the branches of a grape vine were used by Jesus Christ in John 15:1-10. The analogy of a vine is used by Paul the apostle to describe the grafting of the Gentiles into the vine and the severing off of some of the branches of Israel (Romans 11:11-24). The analogy of the vine is found in the Old Testament Scriptures as well. Joseph interprets a dream that involved a vine with three branches (Genesis 40:1-23). Moses prophesies of Israel’s backslidings by comparing them to Sodom and Gomorrah using the analogy of a vine (Deuteronomy 32:32). Jotham the judge tells a parable about leaders over Israel using the analogy of a vine and other plants (Judges 9:7-21). The psalmist (Psalms 80:8; Psalms 80:14-15), and the prophets Isaiah (Isaiah 5:1-7), Jeremiah (Jeremiah 2:21), Ezekial (Ezekiel 17:1-10), and Hosea (Hosea 10:1) use the analogy of a vine to describe the nation of Israel. The analogy of the vine is used to describe others as well (Psalms 128:3, Song of Solomon 6:11; Song of Solomon 7:8; Song of Solomon 7:12).

Deuteronomy 32:32, “For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:”

Psalms 80:8, “Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.”

Psalms 80:14-15, “Return, we beseech thee, O God of hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine; And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself.”

Jeremiah 2:21, “Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?”

Hosea 10:1, “Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images.”

Psalms 128:3, “Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.”

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

John 15:1 “I am the true vine” - Comments - Jesus is the only vine that will produce a life-giving source. No other vine will give eternal life.

John 15:1 “and my Father is the husbandman” - Comments - God does the work to make the grapevine produce. An earthly farmer prunes, cultivates, harvests, and receives the glory when his plants produce well. God, in like manners, receives the glory when a grapevine produces well (John 15:8).

John 15:8, “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”

John 15:1 Comments - God the Father is the supervisor. He is the one that directs this process. Jesus serves at the “vine,” or the source of all fruit. He is the firstborn of all creation.

John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

John 15:2 Word Study - BDAG says the Greek word “purge” ( καθαίρω ) (G2508) means, “to clear or prune by removing the superfluous wood.”

Comments - Within the context of John 15:2 God the Father is the husbandman (1 Corinthians 15:10, Philippians 2:13). In this metaphor, the personal pronoun “it” refers to the vine. Jesus is the vine, and we are the branches (John 15:5). A farmer dresses a vine by cutting off all branches that are not necessary or useful in production, so the vine will produce more fruit. Why does the Father purge us: in order that we might bring forth more fruit (John 15:5). In the natural, the pruning of branches is the way a farmer cares for his grapevine, so as to maximize his harvest. In a spiritual sense, God will prompt our hearts to lay aside worldly activity and entertainment in order to spend more time praying, reading the Holy Bible, witnessing and doing God's work so as to increase the fruit we bring forth.

1 Corinthians 15:10, “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”

Philippians 2:13, “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

John 15:5, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”

God sanctifies a man by working to put out of him things that are superfluous, or irrelevant and harmful to the Christian life. This process is called sanctification. God prunes us and purges worldliness out of our lives so that we might be clean vessels of honor (2 Timothy 2:20-21), and thus be more fruitful. A man becomes sanctified by a process called “purging.”

2 Timothy 2:20-21, “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour. If a man therefore purge himself from these , he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.”

God’s children are either in a process of being purged, or they are taken away from the true vine. They are either purging themselves through self-discipline, or God is purging them through discipline and correction. Note these insightful words from Frances J. Roberts regarding divine discipline and correction:

“Have I not said that unless ye experience chastening, ye may well doubt thy sonship? Why then, shouldst thou shrink from My rod of correction? Ye are not the teacher, but the pupil; not the parent, but the child; not the vine, but the branch. Discipline and correction must come if ye would be brought into conformity to My divine will. Shun nothing My hand brings to bear upon thy life. Accept My blessings and My comfort, but do not despise My sterner dealings. All are working toward thy ultimate perfection.

“Do ye hope to be made perfect apart from the corrective process? Do ye expect to bear large fruit without the pruning process? Nay, My children, either bend in submission to My hand, or ye shall break in rebellion. Godly sorrow yieldeth the good fruit of repentance, but if ye be brittle and unyielding, ye shall know a grief of spirit for which there is no remedy. Keep a flexible spirit, so that I may mold thee and shape thee freely so that I can teach thee readily, nor be detained by thy resistance.” [244]

[244] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 94.

If we resist God’s discipline and correction, then we become salt that has lost is savor, and God allows us to be trodden under the feet of men. We become branches that are cut off, and men gather them and cast them into the fire:

“I need disciplined Christians. To entertain self-will is to court disqualification. Ye cannot do My work to My satisfaction except ye do it in accordance with My specifications. There are not many blueprints for one building; there is only one. Even so, to change the figure, there are not many different husbandmen. I am the husbandman. If ye refuse My loving care of thee, ye shall be cut down by others who have no concern for thy soul. Even as I said of the salt: if it lose its savor, it is good for naught but shall be trodden under foot of man. If the branch bear no fruit, men shall gather it and burn it.” [245]

[245] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King’s Farspan, Inc., 1973), 94.

John 15:2 Comments - There are two kinds of branches on a grapevine; fruit-bearers and non-fruit bearers.

Illustration: I was sitting in a barbershop in June 1983. The barber and a customer were discussing how to grow a grapevine. The barber said that it was necessary to go to a full-grown grapevine and get a cutting off of a fruit-bearing branch. The barber said that some branches never do produce fruit. I know now why the Lord sent me there. I was planning on going to another barber that week because I thought I would be less expensive, the Lord had other plans.

John 15:2 Comments - Note that the branch is “in Christ” before it is taken away. This suggests that a believer can lose his salvation.

John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

John 15:3 Word Study Strong says the Greek word “clean” ( καθαρός ) (2513) means, “clean, pure, clear.”

Comments - The Greek word “clean” ( καθαρός ) (2513) is in the same word family as “purge” ( καθαίρω ) (G2508), which Jesus uses in the previous verse. Thus, Jesus “purges” or “cleans” the branches that bear fruit (John 15:2) by His Word that He speaks to us (John 15:3). In other words, we are made clean, or purged, because of the word that God has spoken to us. As we take God’s Word, believe it, and do it, we become purged (Psalms 51:10; Psalms 119:9). We become washed all over at the moment of salvation, but we still have a need to be purged of daily sin in our lives (John 13:10). Thus, John 15:4 tells us to abide in Christ so that this purging process can take place in our lives.

Psalms 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.”

Psalms 119:9, “Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.”

John 13:10, “Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all.”

God has given us His Word so that we might become clean (Psalms 24:3-4, John 17:17, 1 Timothy 4:5, 1 John 2:1).

Psalms 24:3-4, “Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”

John 17:17, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”

1 Timothy 4:5, “For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.”

1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”

John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

John 15:4 Comments - How do we know if He abides in us and we in Him? If we are walking as Jesus walked, we can know that we are abiding in Him (1 John 2:6). See:

1 John 2:6, “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.”

1 John 2:24, “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”

1 John 3:6, “Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not : whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him.”

1 John 3:24, “And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.”

1 John 4:12-16, “No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God. And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”

We cannot bear fruit unless we remain in Jesus. If a man abides not in Jesus and His Word (John 15:7), he cannot bear fruit and is thus removed from the true vine.

John 15:5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

John 15:5 “He that abideth in me, and I in him” - Comments - Jesus has just told His disciples that He is sending the Holy Spirit to indwell them (John 14:16-17). We abide in Him through communion with the Holy Spirit. This fellowship is the source of our spiritual life and inner strength by which we may go out and bear fruit. This concept of communion with God in prayer and divine service to produce fruit is woven within the Song of Solomon in the metaphors of the garden of prayer and the vineyard of service.

John 14:16-17, “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

John 15:5 “the same bringeth forth much fruit” Comments - There are other Scriptures referring to the fruit, which believers are to produce in the Kingdom of God (Galatians 5:22-23, Romans 1:13; Romans 7:4).

Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

Romans 1:13, “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.”

Romans 7:4, “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.”

John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.

John 15:6 “If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered” - Comments - See a similar metaphor in the Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:3-8; Mark 4:14-20).

1. The seed - This seed is stolen from the heart. Man cannot abide in Jesus without the Word in his heart.

2. The sprout - It is “withered”.

3. The plant - It is choked and bears no fruit. So it is removed (John 15:0).

4. The growth The fruit - Matthew 10:22.

God purges his plants, his people, from lusts, and from being deceived. We must be led by the Spirit, allowing God to purge us so that we become separated from this world (Matthew 10:22, 2 Timothy 2:4).

Matthew 10:22, “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”

2 Timothy 2:4, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

John 15:6 “and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned” - Comments - In the Greek text, the verb “they are burned” is the present tense, so that the sentence can read, “men gather them, cast them into the fire, and burn them.” The branches that have been removed from the grapevine have no further purpose except as firewood. In other words, they are not usable for construction of any kind. They can only serve mankind by being consumed by fire.

John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you” - Comments - R.A Torrey says, “ If we would walk with God we must cultivate the thought of His presence,” which is done by the study of His Word, by prayer, by thanksgiving and by worship. [246]

[246] R. A. Torrey, The Secret of Abiding Peace [on-line]; accessed 9 June 2009; available from http://www.asermon.com/books/torrey-peace.html; Internet, III:2.

ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you ” - Comments - When we walk closely to the Father, we have confidence that He will answer our prayers (1 John 5:14). One of the evidences that we are truly walking with Jesus is answered prayers. We can grow in confidence as our spirit bears witness of our fellowship with the Father. Our conscience is the voice of our heart telling us if we are walking in the Father’s will. We can know that we are God’s children (Romans 8:16).

1 John 5:14, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”

Romans 8:16, “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:”

Note these insightful words from Sadhu Sundar Singh regarding John 15:7.

“Oftentimes men pray to the Father in My name, but do not abide in Me, that is, they take My name into their mouths and on their lips, but not into their hearts and lives. That is the reason why they do not obtain what they pray for. But when I abide in them and they in Me, then whatever they ask from the Father they receive, because they pray under the direction of the Holy Spirit in that condition. The Holy Spirit shows them what will glorify the Father and be best for themselves and for others. Otherwise they will get such an answer as a bad son got from a governor whom his father had served with great courage and honour. When the son presented a petition in his father’s name and asked for some employment and favour, the governor pointed out to him his evil life and habits, and said, ‘Do not petition me in your father’s name, but first go and act according to his example. Let his high worth be not on your lips only, but carry it into your life, and then your petition will be accepted.’ Between the prayers of those who worship and praise Me with their lips only and of those who do so from their heart there is a very great difference. For instance, one who was a true worshipper was constantly praying for another that his eyes might be opened and that he might accept the truth, while the other was a worshipper in name only often prayed in his enmity against My true worshipper that he might be struck blind. Finally the prayers of the true worshipper were heard by the loving will of God, and he who was formerly only a hypocrite received spiritual sight. With his heart full of joy this man became a true believer, and a sincere and lasting brother of My true servant.” [247]

[247] Sadhu Sundar Singh, At the Master’s Feet, translated by Arthur Parker (London: Fleming H. Revell Co., 1922) [on-line], accessed 26 October 2008, available from http://www.ccel.org/ccel/singh/feet.html; Internet, “III Prayer,” section 3, part 7-8.

John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

John 15:9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.

John 15:9 Comments - God gave Jesus all things, but Jesus obtained them through much suffering, which was a testimony of His love and devotion to the Father. How do we abide in Jesus' love; by keeping His commandments (John 15:10), which also involves suffering for His name’s sake?

As we abide in holy communion with the Holy Spirit, He pours forth His love into us (Romans 5:5). As we go forth into the world and obey His Word, being led by the inner witness of the Holy Spirit, we abide in this love, so that all of God’s spiritual blessings are available to us. As we abide in His love, are then able to go forth and love others as Christ loves us, who loves us as the Father loves Him, because He abides in the Father’s love through intimate communion.

Romans 5:5, “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

John 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.

John 15:11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you” - Comments Jesus is referring to verses 1-10.

John 15:11 “that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full” Comments - This phrase means that God has made a way for us to live in all of the fullness of heaven’s joy while we are still hear on this earth. The very fullness of joy that we will have when we are living in heaven is ours today because Jesus has made the way for us into “full” fellowship with the Father and the Son.

John 15:12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.

John 15:12 Comments - Notice that this new commandment that Jesus gives His disciples is the same one that God gave the children of Israel in the Ten Commandments under the Old covenant, which said, “Love thy neighbour as yourself.” The heart of the Ten Commandments is to love God with all of our hearts, mind and strength, and to love our neighbour as ourselves. God then gave the Israelites the statutes to accompany the Ten Commandments in order to teach them how to love others in real-life, everyday situations. We can call this the “Love Walk.” This commandment has not changed. For Jesus gave the Church the same commandment to love one another.

Scripture Reference - Note a similar verse:

John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

We are to love others as Jesus loves us, not just to love others as we love ourselves.

John 15:16 “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you” Scripture Reference - Note Psalms 22:10, “I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.”

John 15:16 “and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit” - Comments - Salvation is God’s work by the Holy Spirit in our lives. The purpose of our salvation is to bear fruit. This means that we have a work to do on earth.

John 15:16 “and that your fruit should remain” Comments - Our work has eternal benefits. We strive for an incorruptible crown, not for a corruptible crown (1 Corinthians 9:25). The purpose, or result, of abiding in Christ and producing fruit is so that we can ask the Father for anything and He hears us and gives it to us.

1 Corinthians 9:25, “And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.”

John 15:16 “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you” Comments - John 15:16 tells us that we have been called to bear fruit for the kingdom of God. If we go back to the beginnings, before the Fall of man, we find this same commandment given to mankind. In Genesis 1:28 God commanded man to be fruitful and to multiply. When we follow this plan for our lives, we begin to do those things that are pleasing in His sight and are in a position to ask whatever we want and we will receive from Him (1 John 3:22). Thus, the promise in John 15:16 that whatsoever we ask the Father in Jesus’ name will be given to us is only from fruit-bearers. Thus, we are able to fulfill our individual destinies. Such promises as are found in this verse are not for the carnal-minded.

Genesis 1:28, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

1 John 3:22, “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.”

John 15:17 Scripture References - Note John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

John 15:16-17 Comments - Jesus summarizes His discourse of John 15:1-16 with these words in John 15:16-17. We cannot love one another if we do not abide in His love. This only happens when we fellowship with the Holy Spirit in prayer. We cannot produce fruit that remains unless we learn to walk in His presence in holy communion through the indwelling Spirit of God.

Verses 1-27

Abiding in the Spirit The theme of John 15:1 to John 16:4 is abiding in the Holy Spirit. Once the disciples have learned to walk in humility and true servanthood (John 13:1-38), and after receiving the infilling of the Holy Spirit (John 14:1-31), they must learn how to abide in the Spirit before they can do the works of God. However, with this lifestyle of abiding in the Spirit there will come persecutions and hatred from the world.

Outline Here is a proposed outline -

1. The True Vine John 15:1-17

2. Hatred from the World (Fourth Scripture Filled) John 15:18 to John 16:4

Verses 18-27

Fourth Scripture Filled: Hatred from the World In John 15:18 to John 16:4 John the apostle records the fourth Old Testament prophecy fulfilled during Jesus’ Passion. Jesus prepares the disciples for His departure by telling them about the hatred of the world being a fulfillment of prophecy. This hatred will be experienced by His disciples when they learn how to abide in the vine (John 15:1-17). As we abide in Him and go forth to produce fruit, we face certain persecutions from the world. As we testify the name of Jesus, the world will certainly hate us.

John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.

John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

John 15:19 “I have chosen you out of the world” - Scripture References -

1 Corinthians 10:6, “Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.”

2 Timothy 2:4, “No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

James 1:27, “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world .”

John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord” Scripture References -

Matthew 10:24, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.”

Luke 6:40, “The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.”

John 13:16, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.”

John 15:20 “If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also” - Comments - This phrase is an example of poetic Hebrew parallelism, found throughout the Gospel of John, especially in the first chapter.

John 15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.

John 15:22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.

John 15:22 Comments - The word “sin” in John 15:22 is singular in the Greek text, referring to the sinful nature of mankind. Thus, Jesus said that the one who believes not in Him is already judged for his sinful nature (John 3:18). Once Jesus came and manifested God’s love and holiness to mankind, they were no longer without excuse. All people can know the general revelation about God through His creation; but special revelation of God’s plan of redemption came through Jesus Christ. We find Paul saying the same thing in his speech to the Athenians on Mar’s Hill (Acts 17:30).

John 3:18, “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”

Acts 17:30, “And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:”

John 15:23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

John 15:24 If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.

John 15:24 Comments - Jesus offered them good works, works that no Old Testament prophet had ever preformed, such as opening the eyes of the blind (John 9:32).

John 9:32, “Since the world began was it not heard that any man opened the eyes of one that was born blind.”

John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

John 15:25 Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament John 15:25 quotes from either Psalms 35:19 or Psalms 69:4.

Psalms 35:19, “Let not them that are mine enemies wrongfully rejoice over me: neither let them wink with the eye that hate me without a cause .”

Psalms 69:4, “ They that hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of mine head: they that would destroy me, being mine enemies wrongfully, are mighty: then I restored that which I took not away.”

John 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 testify of me:

John 15:26 “But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth” Comments - The Comforter will be sent from the Father because of Jesus’ request on the day of Pentecost.

John 15:26 “he shall testify of me” Comments - Jesus tells His disciples that the Holy Spirit’s primary office will by to testify of Him. We look back in the Old Testament and see how the Father testified of Himself. We then see in the Gospels of how Jesus testified of the Father. Now, in the book of Acts and New Testament Epistles we see the Holy Spirit testifying of Jesus Christ.

John 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

John 16:1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.

John 16:1 Comments - Within the context of John 15:18 to John 16:4 Jesus is explaining how the world will hate us and persecute us because of our testimony of Jesus Christ.

John 16:2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.

John 16:2 “the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service” Comments - The Jews began persecuting and killing the Christians in the name of religious duty as early as the book of Acts. Saul of Tarsus oversaw the death of Stephen and many other early Christians.

Galatians 1:13-14, “For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.”

After Jerusalem was destroyed in A.D. 70 by the Romans, their emperors began to persecute and kill all Christians in the Roman Empire in the name of their gods. These persecutions lasted until Constantine declared Christianity the official state religion.

This prophecy has certainly come true in the beliefs of the Muslim religion. This religion builds its doctrine around the fact that all non-Muslims should be killed. They kill Christians in the name of their god. Listen to these verses from the Koran: [248]

[248] E. H. Palmer, The Qur’ân part 1, in The Sacred Books of the East, ed. F. Max Müller (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1880), 102, 170, 173, 176-177.

“The reward of those who make war against God and His Apostle, and strive after violence in the earth, is only that they shall be slaughtered or crucified, or their hands cut off and their feet on alternate sides, or that they shall be banished from the land.” (Surah 5.36)

“Prepare ye against them what force and companies of horse ye can, to make - the enemies of God, and your enemies, and others beside them, in dread thereof.” (Surah 8.60)

“But when the sacred months are passed away, kill the idolaters wherever ye may find them; and take them, and besiege them, and lie in wait for them in every place of observation.” (Surah 9.5)

“Fight those who believe not in God and in the last day, and who forbid not what God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who do not practice the religion of truth from amongst those to whom the Book has been brought, until they pay the tribute by their hands and be as little ones.” (Surah 9.29)

The Muslim religion has a history of war and persecutions against Jews, Christians and all non-Muslims societies. They have spread their faith by force, and not by the will of their victims, but rather by fear of terror, and not by faith in God.

This is a description of the spirit of antichrist. It is the powers of darkness at war against God’s people, both Jews and Christians alike. The New Testament refers to different types of spirits, such as unclean spirit, spirits of infirmity, spirits of divination, deaf and dumb spirits, seducing spirits, etc. However, the spirit of antichrist is a particular spirit that will focus on making war against the children of God. 1 John 4:3 tells us that this spirit is already in the world and has been making war with God’s children since his day. Jesus describes the antichrist when He told His disciples, “that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”

John 16:2, “They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”

Jesus also refers to this spirit in Matthew 24-25.

Matthew 24:9, “Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.”

John 16:2 Scripture Reference - Note a similar verse:

John 9:22, “These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue.”


John 15:13-14, “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.”

John 16:1-2 “These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues” - Comments - Robert Gundry says that the Jews during the last part of the first century, when John wrote his Gospel, incorporated a Benediction against Heretics into the liturgy of their services in an effort to ostracize all Jewish Christians from synagogues. Since it was possible that many Jewish converts were expelled from these synagogues, he suggests that John may have included the story of the healing of the blind man and the response from the Pharisees (John 9:1-34) as a source of encouragement to these persecuted Jewish Christians. [249]

[249] The benediction reads, “For the excommunicate let there be no hope, and the kingdom of pride do Thou quickly root out in our days. And let the Christians and the heretics perish as in a moment. Let them be blotted out of the book of life, and with the righteous let them not be written. Blessed art Thou, O Lord, who subdueth the proud.” See Robert H. Gundry, A Survey of the New Testament, revised edition (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishing House), 104.

John 16:1-2 Comments The Institution of the Church - Jesus’ words in John 16:1-2 are the first indications that the institution of the Church will not be associated with the Jewish nation. This is because the Church is to be born largely out of the Gentile nations. The Jewish nation will reject these believes and persecute them.

John 16:4 “But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them” - Comments - Jesus was able to speak to them face to face for the final time. After His resurrection and ascension, He will speak to them by the Spirit of God.

“And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you” Comments - Jesus could have spoken to them from the beginning, meaning He knew all of these things about His passion and resurrection from the beginning.

Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on John 15". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/john-15.html. 2013.
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