Christ the true Vine. (Verse 1-8.)
His love to his disciples. (Verse 9-17.)
foretold. (Verse 18-25.)
The Comforter promised. (Verse 26,27.)
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
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.
[Matt 15:13, 1st Cor 3:11, Matt 25:29, 1st Cor 15:10, 2nd Cor 6:1]
trials or tough times in the life of a Christian are not necessarily because of sin. The Lord will sometimes allow difficulties in our lives to “purge” us in order that we might bring forth more fruit for him.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
one way in which a person is “cleansed” from sin is through the word of Christ. Reading the Bible has a cleansing effect as the word of God points out our sins or the areas in our lives that need attention. Ephesians 5:26 says, “That he [Christ] might sanctify and cleanse it [the church] with the washing of water by the word.”
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.
[1st Cor 1:9, 1st John 4:13]
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.
abiding in Christ enables the Christian to produce spiritual fruit. Galatians 5:22-23 states, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”
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.
[Matt 3:10, Matt 7:19, Luke 3:9, Luke 13:7, Luke 13:9]
Remember who Jesu’s audience is here, the apostles. He is not speaking to anyone in the body of Christ, this was before the cross while Israel was still under the law of Moses and had their kingdom hopes in view.
Who was it that was taken away as a dried-up branch and burned (in hell) because he quit abiding in Christ, the vine? Judas Iscariot. What is the result of those that abode in Christ after he was risen? They bore much fruit.
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.
[Matt 7:7, Matt 21:22, Mark 11:24, Luke 11:9,10, Luke 18:1, John 14:13, John 16:23, 1st John 3:22]
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
[1st Cor 10:31, Phil 1:11]
9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.
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.
Remember in the synoptic gospels, especially in Matthew Christ tells his apostles roughly the same thing in different words that if they are abiding in his word they can ask anything in his name and he will do it for them (the apostles).
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
for the Christian’s joy to be “full,” he must attend to “these things” as outlined in verses 1-10. This would include in part abiding in Christ, keeping his commandments, bearing spiritual fruit, and placing a heavy emphasis upon his words (vs. 3 and 7).
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.
[Matt 12:50, John 14:23, Heb 2:11, 1st Cor 7:19, 1st John 2:3, 1st John 3:24]
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.
[Psa 25:14, 1st Cor 2:16]
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.
Who was Jesus expecting to go and bare much fruit, his apostles that were with him that night because they have the witness of having been with him and seeing and hearing all the things he did and said.
17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.
18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
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.
a person can not be loved by both Christ and the world. Love for and by one will distance yourself from the other.
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.
[Matt 10:24, Luke 6:40, John 13:16]
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
What would the world do unto the apostles according to these verses? They would persecute them, as they did their Master. They were told to love their enemies that were the very ones that would try to kill them.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
note that the natural tendency of mankind is to cover or hide sin. Christ made it a point to make sure that men and women were aware of their sin – only then would they see their need to repent and trust in Him. In fact Christ’s stand against sin was so strong that many ended up hating him (note verses 23-25). One of the marks of good, solid, biblical preaching is a strong stand against sin. If the minister of the church you attend does not preach against sin to the point where people are made aware of and are convicted about their sins, then you need to find another church where such a stand is made – a stand just like the one Jesus took!
23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
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.
25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
[Psa 35:19, Psa 69:4]
this is a partial quote from Psalm 35:19 and 69:4, both of which make reference to the phrase, they “hate me without a cause.”
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:
27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
Who was with Christ from the beginning? The apostles. That is a requirement stated again here in John for being an apostle of the Jews. Peter did not just make that stuff up as he went along on the day of pentecost.
These verses while bringing much comfort to the disciples in their confusion will during the tribulation period serve the same purpose, to strengthen those that are going through trials for their faith.
Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.
Verse 1-8 – Jesus Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of the human and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that is in him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by the moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up. The Father is the Husbandman. Never was any husbandman so wise, so watchful, about his vineyard, as God is about his church, which therefore must prosper. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temper, disposition, and life. We must honour God, and do good; this is bearing fruit. The unfruitful are taken away. And even fruitful branches need pruning; for the best have notions, passions, and humours, that require to be taken away, which Christ has promised to forward the sanctification of believers, they will be thankful, for them. The word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we bring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more our Lord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with him by faith. It is the great concern of all Christ’s disciples, constantly to keep up dependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those who abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in outward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittest place for withered branches; they are good for nothing else. Let us seek to live more simply on the fulness of Christ, and to grow more fruitful in every good word and work, so may our joy in Him and in his salvation be full.
Verse 9-17 – Those whom God loves as a Father, may despise the hatred of all the world. As the Father loved Christ, who was most worthy, so he loved his disciples, who were unworthy. All that love the Saviour should continue in their love to him, and take all occasions to show it. The joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment, but the joy of those who abide in Christ’s love is a continual feast. They are to show their love to him by keeping his commandments. If the same power that first shed abroad the love of Christ’s in our hearts, did not keep us in that love, we should not long abide in it. Christ’s love to us should direct us to love each other. He speaks as about to give many things in charge, yet names this only; it includes many duties.
Verse 18-25 – How little do many persons think, that in opposing the doctrine of Christ as our Prophet, Priest, and King, they prove themselves ignorant of the one living and true God, whom they profess to worship! The name into which Christ’s disciples were baptized, is that which they will live and die by. It is a comfort to the greatest sufferers, if they suffer for Christ’s name’s sake. The world’s ignorance is the true cause of its hatred to the disciples of Jesus. The clearer and fuller the discoveries of the grace and truth of Christ, the greater is our sin if we do not love him and believe in him.
Verse 26,27. – The blessed Spirit will maintain the cause of Christ in the world, notwithstanding the opposition it meets with. Believers taught and encouraged by his influences, would bear testimony to Christ and his salvation.