John 15 takes place during one of the teaching sessions to the twelve as he tries to expand their knowledge and give them ability to spread His message. What is to follow here is an in depth look into this chapter for it is one that few here or even acknowledge. It begins as Jesus continues His lecture:
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Here Christ begins an analogy much like His parables which allowed Him to give those listening a point of reference which would allow them to understand. Vineyards were prevalent through all of Israel as well as throughout the entire Roman Empire.
Jesus is the foundation, the root, the very plant, and His Father God is the land-owner on which the plant grows and is nurtured by.
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.
This verse above all others needs the closest attention.
The word “in” is the word “en” in the Greek which denotes a fixed position in place, and state.
The word “me” is the word “emos” which states of me, mine (own), my.
When you look at just these two words it clearly states that the branch (those that call themselves “Christian”) are in Jesus Christ. A part of His Body.
Yet He immediately states this: that beareth not fruit he taketh away.
So those in Christ that do not bear fruit for God are removed by God the husbandman and taken away.
Look to the words “taken away” they are actually one word in the Greek: “airo” which means make to doubt, put away, remove, take (away, up), but it also has a Hebrew meaning that needs to be mentioned: to expiate sin.
Simply you are removed from the Body of Christ.
But as the verse continues it states what happens to those that do bear fruit for God. God purges that branch, that person.
It is the word “kathairo” which means to cleanse, i.e. (specially) to prune; figuratively, to expiate:–purge. This means to tear away that which is no longer good within you and allow that which is precious to the Lord to come to the light and allow you to bear more fruit of Him. Why? For our growth in Christ is an ongoing and continual process. It is not just one event. It is not one day saying I will serve Jesus and then do nothing the rest your life. This one verse says it all. Bear fruit for God, grow in the faith, cast off those sins you discover within you along the way or be removed from Christ.
In the next verses Jesus spells this out:
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
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.
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.
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.
Now take special note of the verse above. Now remember in the second verse and clarified in the fourth and fifth verses that you are already apart of Christ, but if you do not live your life as if Jesus is in you God will cut you away and you will wither to be gathered up by men and then cast into the fire. This reinforces the second verse and makes it clear that heaven is not your destination if you do not follow the teachings of Christ.
Now in the next verses He instructs you on how to improve your place with God:
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.
8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
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.
11 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.
12 This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you.
Now what is to follow will make it clear that those we are to love are those that follow Christ and why, but it is also important that we love all so that they will see that light of God within us through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ so they too can become fruit that in time will turn into a branch that bear fruit for God.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This last verse is extremely important to understand. Why? Because many that go about calling themselves “Christian” are welcome within the world. I have experienced hatred form those about me. At work in public and various other places. Why? Because I stood for my faith and did not back down. I see the hate written in their eyes, yet I do not hate them, for I am trying to be a light for God.
This is how it should be for all that call themselves “Christian” for this is exactly what Christ said it would be like. That the world WILL hate us. If the world does not hate you, they you are of the world. Very simply.
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.
21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin.
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.
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.