Jesus speaks to his disciples for this entire chapter without pause. For some context, Jesus is only a few chapters before being arrested by the Jews. He pours into his disciples as much as He can to prepare them for what’s to come.
I’ll break down each subsection since the text is so rich.
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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.John 15:1-2
Jesus sets Himself as the vine for this analogy. Vines have branches, which may or may not bear fruit. The Father is the vinedresser, someone who manages the branches of the vine.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.John 15:5-6
We are the branches. The branches that cooperate with the vine bears much fruit, for if the branches cannot do anything on their own. The vinedresser discards fruitless branches.
If we abide in Jesus, Jesus will also abide in us, and we will bear fruit. Those who do not abide in Jesus do not bear fruit and are discarded and burned.
Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.John 15:13
There is no greater love than sacrificing oneself for the sake of one another. If we love someone so much that we’re willing to give up ourselves for the sake of them, that’s a true act of selflessness.
Jesus foreshadows His sacrifice on the cross for all humans.
Friends vs Servants
No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.John 15:15
Jesus makes an interesting distinction here between friends and servants. It seems that before this moment, the disciples were servants. Now that Jesus has told them everything, the disciples have been promoted to friends.
Well, not that it’s a ranking system. But now they know what Jesus know.
Hatred of the World
If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.John 15:18
Jesus tells His disciples that because they associate themselves with Jesus, the world hates them. The world won’t hate the disciples if it were not for Jesus.
Same to us. The world hates us because they hated Jesus first.
This is good for us because that means the world persecutes us in the name of Jesus. The world acknowledges that Jesus is a threat and has real power, which is true.
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