corner graphic   Hi,    
Facebook image
ver. 2.0.18.05.22
Finding the new version too difficult to understand? Go to classic.studylight.org/

Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible
John 15

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-8

On the way from the supper table to the garden of Gethsemane, or while still lingering in the upper room, our Lord spoke this wondrous parable.

John 15:1. I am the true vine,-

All other vines are but shadows of Christ. They represent Christ, but he is himself the substance. the essence, the one great reality. He is the truth of all things that exist: “I am the true Vine.” Does anybody ask which is the true Church? All who are vitally joined to Christ are in the true Church, for he says, “I am the true Vine,”-

John 15:1. And my Father is the husbandman.

He cares for the Church with infinite wisdom and love. No one else can care for that true Vine as the Father-the Husbandman-does.

John 15:2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:

If there be any, who are only nominally in Christ, and who therefore bear no fruit, their doom is to be taken away; for, in order to final perseverance and eternal safety, there must be fruit-bearing.

John 15:2. And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Pruning, then, is for fruit-bearers. If the branch were dead, what would be the good of pruning it? Say not, dear friends that your afflictions must be caused by your sins; nay, rather they may come in consequence of your virtues. Because you do bear fruit, it is worth while for the Husbandman to use his knife upon you, that you may bring forth more fruit.

John 15:3-4. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you.

Give good heed to that sweet word, beloved brethren, “Abide in me.” Do not seem to get into Christ, and then depart from him. Add constancy to all your other graces.

John 15:4-5. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 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.

You know how the branch is in the vine, it is a component part of the vine; but do not forget that the vine is also in the branch,-that the sap, which is the very life of the vine, flows into every living branch. So we are in Christ, and Christ is in us, and he says to us, as the marginal reading has it, “Severed from me, ye can do nothing.” What! not even a little, Lord? Can we not do something good, something acceptable apart from thee? No; “Without me, ye can do nothing.”

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.

That is all that can be done with fruitless vine-branches. You cannot make anything of them. Other trees yield timber, and are useful for various purposes; but, with the vine, it is as the prophet Ezekiel says, “Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest? Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang any vessel thereon? Behold, it is cast into the fire for fuel; the fire devoureth both the ends of it, and the midst of it is burned. Is it meet for any work?” It is useless if it is fruitless; and so is it with us, if we do not bear fruit unto God, we are of no service to him whatsoever.

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.

Here is the secret of prevailing prayer. It is not every man who chooses to pray, who shall have whatever he asks of God; but the successful pleader is the man who abides in Christ, and in whom Christ’s words abide. God will not hear our words if we disregard his words. We cannot expect our prayers to be prevalent if we are severed from our Lord.

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

“Much fruit” should be produced by the disciples of the much-doing Christ.

The true Vine was full of fruit, and it scarcely can be believed that we are branches of that Vine if we exhibit only a little fruit. It is “much fruit” that proves our union to this Vine.


Verses 1-11

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

If you want to know where the true Church is, Christ here tells you: “I am the true vine.” All who are in Christ are in the true Church. If you want to know who is the Father of the Church, its Keeper and Guardian, Christ here tells you: “My Father is the husbandman.” Hence, I feel persuaded that the true vine, the Church, will never die, for it is Christ; and I am also persuaded that it will never be uprooted, for Jesus says, “My Father is the husbandman;” and that fact is a guarantee that he will take care of it.

John 15:2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:

In some sense, men and women may be in Christ by a mete outward profession; but if they have no evidence of a real union to Christ, if they produce no fruit, they will be taken away, some by death, and others by apostasy; but they will be taken away.

John 15:2. And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit!.

From these words, it is clear that, many of the afflictions which we have to endure are not brought upon us because we are unfruitful, but because we are bearing fruit.

John 15:3-4. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 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.

Dear friends, beware of a Christless Christianity. Beware of trying to be Christians without living daily upon Christ. The branch may just as well try to bear fruit apart from the vine as for you to hope to maintain the reality of Christian life without continual fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 15:5-6. 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. 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.

The vine must either bear fruit or be good for nothing; and you, believer, must be vitally united to Christ, and bear fruit in consequence of that union or else you will be like those fruitless vine-branches, of which our Lord said that “men gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned,”

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.

Do not take that verse as a promise of unlimited answers to prayer, for it is nothing of the kind. Remember the “if” that qualifies it: “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,” for a man who is truly in Christ, as the branch is in the vine, and who is feeding upon Christ’s words, will be so influenced by the Holy Spirit that he will not ask anything which is contrary to the mind of God. Consequently, his prayers, though in one sense unrestricted, are really restricted by the tenderness of his conscience, and the sensitiveness of his spirit to the influence of the mind of God. There are some Christians who do not get their prayers answered, and who never will as long as they do not comply with this condition, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you.” If you do not take notice of Christ’s words, he will not take notice of your words. He is not going to open his door to every stranger who chooses to give a runaway knock at it, but he will pay attention to his own children who pay attention to him.

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

“Ye shall be known to be my disciples.” Everybody will perceive that you must be branches of that fruitful vine, Christ Jesus, if ye bear much fruit.

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

How wondrously Jesus loves those who are truly, his! As the Father loved him, so does he love us: that is, without beginning, without measure, without variation, without end. “Continue ye in my love;” that is, live in it, enjoy it, drink it in, be influenced by it.

John 15:10. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love;

“You shall live in the realization of my love if you live in obedience to me.”

John 15:10-11. Even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

For, when Christ is not pleased with us, we are not likely to have joy in ourselves, Oh, that we may so live as to please Christ!


Verses 1-17

Thus speaks the Lord Jesus: —

John 15:1. I am the true vine,

Many questions have been raised about which is the true Church; the Saviour answers them, “I am the true vine.” All who are united, really united, to the ever-living Saviour are members of the true Church. Find ye them where ye may, if they are one with Christ, they are his — they are parts of the divine vine; they are belonging to his Church.

John 15:1. And my Father is the husbandman.

It is the Father’s province, by the Holy Spirit and by the works of Providence, to see to the prosperity of the Church. “My Father is the husbandman.” All preachers, all teachers, are but, so to speak, the pruning tool in the hand of the great vine-dresser. “My Father is the husbandman.”

John 15:2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:

It is a necessary part of vine-dressing to remove the superfluous shoots. Too much wood-making, which does not lead to fruit-bearing, is but a waste of strength. And so in the Church there are those that bear no fruit, and for a while they appear to be fresh and green, and they who are the under-vine-dressers dare not take them away. But the Father does it —sometimes by removing them by death; at other times by permitting them openly to expose their own character, until they are then amenable to the discipline of the Church, and are removed.

John 15:2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away and every branch that beareth fruit —

What of that? “He purgeth it (pruneth it) that it may bring forth more fruit.” “I cannot understand,” said one to me the other day, “why I am so very sorely afflicted. I have been searching myself to discover what sin can have been the cause of it.” Now, beloved, if that be your question tonight, there may be a sin to be put away, and, if so, God forbid that I should prevent your searching; but remember, on the other hand, affliction is no evidence of sin, but oftentimes of the very contrary, It is the fruit-bearing branch that gets the pruning. You are so good a branch that God would fain have you better. You have such capacities for bearing fruit, that he wants to see those capacities developed. The lapidary does not chase upon the wheel the stone that is not precious, but that which is, and so real affliction is no mark, therefore, of your want of grace, but of your having it. “Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.”

John 15:3. Now ye are clean--

For so it should be.

John 15:3. Through the word which I have spoken unto you.

While Christ was with his disciples he kept his vine continually pruned by the word which he spoke. That word cut off the non-fruit-bearing-branches, for we read that after that saying there were some that went back, and walked no more with him, for they said, “’This is a hard saying; who can bear it?” That was the word pruning off the useless branches. And there were others who were grieved by his Word. These, were good people, and it did them good. It was a godly sorrow that led to bringing forth fruits meet for repentance.

John 15:4. Abide in me and I in you.

There is the great canon of the Christian life. Hold fast to Christ. Not only live with him, but live in him. “Abide in me.” And on! let Jesus not be merely your companion now and then, on holy occasions, but let him abide in you; make your heart a temple; let him find his sweetest rest his home in you.

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

It is keeping in Christ, then, that is the vital relater. There is the root of the whole business, to be still one with Jesus by vital union, deriving the sap of our life entirely from him.

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:

This double abiding gives a double harvest. Christ in me, and I in Christ — I must be fruitful. Oh! beloved, look well to this. I am afraid we get at a distance from Christ. There is more danger of this in old professors than there is in young beginners. The young beginner is warm of heart. The very novelty of the thing keeps him near his Master, but oh! take care of slackening; you that have been long pilgrims, take care of slackening. It is so easy to grow cold in this cold world, and it is so hard to maintain the holy spiritual fervent, without which there is no spiritual health.

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

Not “ye will do less,” or “ye will do least,” but ye can do nothing —nothing good, nothing spiritual, nothing acceptable, if severed from Jesus.

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.

And oh! how many come to this end! They did seem to be all that the fruit-bearing branches are, but they were never saved souls, for saved souls always bring forth fruits of righteousness. Their salvation is proved by their fruitfulness. But these appeared to be all that the others were, and after a while they were discovered, and cast into the fire and burned.

John 15:7. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,

My very words. You must treasure up Christ’s teaching; you must obey his precepts. If ye do this, “Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” In this chapter we are taught once or twice that the power of prayer depends very much upon the closeness of our communion with Christ, and the completeness of our obedience to him. We are saved by faith in the Redeemer, but the joy of salvation, the very dignity and glory of it, will only come to those men who jealously watch themselves, and zealously obey their Lord and Master.

John 15:8-9. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you:

What a glorious word! I scarcely know a text more deep, more full than this. After the same manner as God the Father loves the Son — after that same sort does the Son love us. Hear ye the words again, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you; continue ye in my love.” He confirms us in it, and bids us live in the enjoyment of it.

John 15:10. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love.

Ye shall know it; ye shall live in it; it shall be the atmosphere you breathe.

John 15:10-11. Even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you.

Christ would have his people happy; happy, however, with a holy joy, which is not, therefore, a dim and second-rate joy. It is the very joy of Christ, God’s people are to enjoy.

John 15:11-16. That my joy might remain in you. and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 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. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

A second time he puts this remarkable prevalence of prayer side by side with walking in the Lord’s commandments. Oh! ye that miss success in your life and work, may you not trace your failure to your forgetfulness of God. Shall God do your will, if you will not do his will? Shall he wait on you, if you will not wait on him? Will he not (must you not expect that he will) walk contrary to you if you walk contrary to him? May Spirit make you pure in life, for then shall you be successful at the mercy-seat!

John 15:17. These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Jesus! send us this spirit of love, we pray thee. Amen.


Verses 1-27

Many of you know the words of this chapter by heart; you could repeat them without a mistake. May the savor of them abide in your hearts even as the letter of them abides in your memory!

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

We thank thee, O Saviour, for this blessed answer to the oft-repeated question, “Which is the true Church?”Are you one with Christ? Then are you a part of the true vine. If we have but real, vital personal, having connection with Christ, to whatever section of the visible Church we may belong, we are part of “the true vine.” And we are told, in the next sentence, who is the great Caretaker of the Church? Some of us are much occupied in Christ’s service, and there is a tendency with all of us to get, like Martha, “numbered” even in serving for him. We are apt to fancy that the burden of all the churches lies upon our shoulders, but, beloved, this is a great mistake. Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman,” or vine-dresser. He will take the utmost possible care of it, for it is very dear to him. There is not a branch in that vine which the Father does not love with infinite affection; and as for the majestic stem, even Jesus, he loves him beyond measure.

John 15:2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:

This operation is always going on. God is continually taking away from the Church, in some way or other, non-fruit-bearers. We know that these do not truly belong to Christ, for fruit must come from vital union to him but it is a trial to the Church to have non-fruit-bearing branches. These are taken away, sometimes by death, sometimes by judgment, sometimes by the open discovery of their secret sin, the culmination of their backslides in overt acts of transgression. “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:” but side by side with this action another process is constantly going on: —

John 15:2. And every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

Is this, then, dear friend, one reason why you are being chastened, —because you are a fruit-bearing branch? If you bore no fruit, you would be left unpruned, because the knife would do its sterner work upon you by taking you altogether away. If you really do bring forth fruit to God, you must expect to have trial, trouble, affliction, and that full often.

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

That was a “word” which had sorely grieved them, and cut them to the quick, so that the Saviour had to say to them, more than once, “Let not your heart be troubled.” (See the 1st, and the 27th, verses of the preceding chapter.) They had felt the sharp edge of the pruning-knife, so Jesus said to them, “Now ye are clean (purged or pruned) through the word which I have spoken unto you.”

John 15:4. Abide in me, and I in you.

The main thing is not restless activity, running here and there, and doing this, and that, and the other thing; it is abiding in Christ, persevering, constant cleaving to Christ, by virtue of a vital union with him: “Abide in me, and I in you.”

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

You may hurry, and flurry, and worry; but you will lose by it. Keep close to Christ. Never let your heart be dissociated from intimate communion with him. So shall you bring forth fruit, but not else.

John 15:5-6. 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. 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.

The vine is of use for nothing but fruit-bearing; and if it does not bear fruit, it is good for nothing except to be burned. In the social economy of life, a man may be of some use however bad he may be; but a man who is in the nominal Church of Christ, and yet does not bring forth fruit unto God, is of no use whatsoever. There is nothing to be done with him but to gather him up with the sere autumn leaves, and the decaying stalks of vegetation, to be burned in the corner outside the wall. How trying is the smoke that comes from such a burning as that! We pastors sometimes get it into our eyes, and it fills them with bitter tears. I know of nothing that is more grievous to us than this putting out of the unworthy, this casting the fruitless vine branches into the fire that they may be burned.

John 15:7. Ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, —

You see that doctrinal vitality is necessary to true union to Christ. Some, in these days, talk about a spiritual attachment to the person of Christ, while they shoot their envenomed darts against the dogmas of Christ; but that will not do. “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you,” — my words of doctrine, precept, or promise, then—

John 15:7. Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

This is the secret of successful prayer. Christ listens to your words because you listen to his words. If you are conformed to his will, he will grant you your will. Disobedient children, when they pray, may expect to get the rod for an answer. In true kindness, God may refuse to listen to them until they are willing to listen to him.

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

What a wonderful vine that must be whose branches glorify God! Who ever heard of such a thing? The very branches do this, and they do it by bearing fruit. How this ought to excite us to desire to bear Christian graces, and to do Christian service, and to endure with resignation the Lord’s will, for those are the clusters that hang upon this vine.

John 15:8. So shall ye be my disciples.

For Christ is not merely a fruit-bearer, but a bearer of much fruit. If we are to be Christ’s disciples indeed, we must not be content with doing something for him, but we must do everything that is possible to us; and God can strengthen us till we shall get beyond our natural possibilities into a still loftier realm.

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

As truly as the Father loves the Son, so truly does Jesus love us; nay, more than that, in the same manner as the Father loved the Son, — that is, without beginning, without cessation, without change, without end, without measure, — so does Jesus love us. There are many vast texts in the Bible, but I have often questioned whether there is a bigger text than this, — a vaster abyss of meaning shall not be found in these few words, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.” “Continue ye in my love.” Recognize it, enjoy it, walk in consistency with it, reflect it: “Continue ye in my love.”

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.

I said just now that the doctrinal words of Christ were to be regarded by us. So, dearly-beloved, the precepts or commands of God must ever be regarded. It is an idle tale for men to talk of a mythical visionary love to Christ which does not result in obedience to his will. We must keep his commandments, or we cannot truly say to him, “Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee.”

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

Good children are truly happy when their parents are happy in them. When they, through the good teaching and example of their parents, bring honour and joy to their parents, then they are sure to be themselves joyful. Oh, that we might so live that Christ’s joy might abide in us, for then our joy would be full.

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

Are you doing this, brethren and sisters in Christ, really loving one another? Do you never pick holes in each other’s character? Do you never judge a fellow-Christian harshly? If you do these things, chide yourself, and cease from this evil habit at once, for your Lord says to you, “This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.”

John 15:13. 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.” I lift you above the rank of servant, and make you my table companions, privileged to sit at the table with me in communion. I put you down on my list of associates and familiars, with whom I take sweet counsel, and in company with whom I walk to the house of God. “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.” This condition applies to the whole range of Christ’s commands. We are not to omit any one of them, nor to make a little nick in our conscience as some do, nor to neglect what seems to be a comparatively small duty; for neglected duties, even of the lesser kind, often set upon us as little stones in a boot do upon a traveler. They lame him, they may not prevent him from traveling, but they mar his comfort on the road. Be scrupulous, brethren, lest, through the neglect of what some regard as scruples, you should bring upon yourselves great sorrows.

John 15:14-16. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,

“That is where the love began, — not with you, but with me.”

John 15:16. And ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain:

There are some people who are very fond of quoting the first part of this verse, they are very glad to hear a sermon upon the free, sovereign grace of God. They cannot too often repeat the words, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you;” but they do not talk so much about the next clause: “and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” Let us accept all God’s words as he has given them to us, and keep up the due proportion of the whole. Note that Christ is not speaking here of spasmodic piety, the religion that can only be kept up by popular preaching, and great meetings, and much excitement, and all that sort of thing; but of the religion of principle that bears its clusters tomorrow as well as today, and even months and years hence, — the religion that bears its fruit every month, and the leaf whereof doth not wither. May we be such branches in the true vine that our fruit shall thus remain.

John 15:16. That whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

For, where the fruit remains, power in prayer will remain. If we are constantly living unto God, we shall find ourselves privileged to have the ear of God; and when we pray to him, he will grant us the desire of our hearts.

John 15:17. These things I command you, that ye love one another.

Our Lord repeated the command, for he knew how prone even his disciples would be to disobey it.

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

It is no new thing for the ungodly to hate the godly, so let us not be surprised if that is our portion.

John 15:19-20. 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. 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.

It ought to be quite sufficient for the servant if he is treated as his Lord was; what higher honour than that could he wish to have?

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

They professed to know God, and some of them even thought that they were rendering acceptable service to God when they rejected his Son, whom he had sent unto them.

John 15:22-24. lf I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father.

Our Lord did not mean that they would have been sinless if he had not come to them, but that his coming, and their rejection of him, had enormously increased and intensified their sinfulness.

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.

They fulfilled what had been written long before, even as they afterwards did when they put Christ to death.

John 15:26-27. 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: And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

The witness of the Spirit of truth still continues, and Christ’s disciples are still privileged to be co-witnesses, even wilt the Holy Spirit himself; let us take care to avail ourselves of this privilege whenever we can.


Verses 9-27

John 15:9. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you:

Oh, drink this nectar down! It is as when Cleopatra dissolved the pearl into a single draught; for here is the choicest pearl of truth that ever was dissolved into a single verse to be a delicious draught for his people to drink: “As the Father hath loved me,” — as surely as the Father hath loved me; and, then, “as”— that is,— in the same manner “as the Father hath loved me,” — without beginning, without ending, Without measure, without change, “so have I loved you.”

John 15:9-10. Continue ye in my love. If ye keep any commandments, ye shall abide in my love;

Note this point of the Lord’s discipline; — not that Christ ever casts away his people, but that he does take from them the sweet sense of his love, the realization of it, if they are disobedient to him, and keep not his commandments.

John 15:10-11. Even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you,

That he might joy in us,— feel a sacred delight in thinking of us as he does when he sees us keeping his commandments, and treasuring up his words, and so living in his love, and being mighty in prayer.

John 15:11. And that your joy might be full.

If Christ is not pleased with us, we cannot be glad; and if he has no joy in us, we cannot have joy in him. These two things rise and fall together. When the father of the family looks with joy upon his boy, then the boy is happy; but when the father has no joy in his son, then be sure of this, the son has no joy in his father, but he is sad at heart. O God, may we never grieve thee, for if we do, we shall be ourselves grieved; at least, I trust that we shall, we would not have it otherwise. But, oh! that we might have the testimony that Enoch had before his translation, that we have pleased God!

Then shall we have true pleasure in ourselves.

John 15:12-14. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. 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.

Obedience, then, is rewarded with a holy friendship, for Christ becomes in the highest sense our Friend; but we are not his friends till we cease to delight in sin, and turn away from it into the paths of holiness.

John 15:15. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

The servant works in a building, and it is enough for him that he is laying part of a line of brick or stone. Perhaps he has never seen the design of the structure, nor had a wish to do so. But you and I have the great Architect constantly coming to us to tell us what the building is to be, and to explain to us his plans, and so we work with greater pleasure and joy than a mere labourer might. The very heart of Christ is laid bare to his people: “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him.” Happy are his people; glad to be his servants,— gladder still to be his friends.

John 15:16. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

There you see divine election leading on to fruit-bearing, and perpetuated in perseverance: “that your fruit should remain.” It brings also to every one of its objects this conspicuous favor, prevailing power in prayer: “that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.”

John 15:17. These things I command you, that ye love one another.

O you professors, who have no love to one another, you are breaking the King’s commandment! You are living in direct violation of a plain command that is most dear to his heart. Oh, that we might constantly hear it and obey it! “These things I command you, that ye love one another.”

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

That is what you have reason to expect, and you may feel honoured if they treat you as they have treated your Lord.

John 15:19-22. 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. 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. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.

There is an awful increase of sin produced by Christ speaking to a man; and if any of you have been very near to the Kingdom, and your conscience has been aroused, and your mind has been impressed by the truth, and yet you have gone back to your sin, you have multiplied that sin a thousandfold. The times of your ignorance God may have winked at; but now you are sinning against light and knowledge; and unless you repent, terrible will be your doom.

John 15:23-26. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. 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. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. But when the Comforter is come,

And he has come; he is here, he has never been taken away; he still abides with and in the Church.

John 15:26. Whom I’ll send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

By this mark you may know whether that which has been taught you is of the Spirit of God. If it does not testify of Christ, if he is not the head and front of it all, there is nothing in it for you to accept. If any man comes to you with what he calls a revelation, if it is not all concerning Christ, by this shall you judge it; it is not of the Spirit of God if it does not testify of Christ.

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

May we all bear witness according as we have been with Christ, for there is no bearing witness to Christ unless we have first been with him.


Verses 12-27

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

O beloved, do keep this commandment! Overlook each other’s infirmities. Bear with each other’s faults. Love one another as Christ has loved us.

John 15:13-15. 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. Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

“I have explained myself to you in such a way that I have proved that you are my friends. A master sets his servant to work without explaining what his object is in that work, but I have explained to you what my Father’s design is. Therefore, you are my friends.”

John 15:16-21. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. 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. 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. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

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. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me. We cannot expect, therefore, to receive honour, and to wear a crown of gold where Jesus wore a crown of thorns.

John 15:22-24. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If 1 had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin:

They would have been comparatively free from sin.

John 15:24-26. But now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause. 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:

Notice that blessed truth,—that even that Divine Person, the Holy Ghost, when he comes to visit us, has nothing better to speak of than our Lord Jesus Christ: “He shall testify of me.” Even the Holy Spirit, when he exercises the function of the Comforter, testifies of Christ. Is he not the consolation of Israel? Well did the poet write

“Thou dear Redeemer, dying Lamb,

We love to hear of thee;

No music’s like thy charming name,

Nor half so sweet can be.”

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

 


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on John 15:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/spe/john-15.html. 2011.


Lectionary Calendar
Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
ADVERTISEMENT
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology