Harmony of the Gospels

    

(23-2) Last Speech to the Apostles and Intercessory Prayer     

     

John 15

 

Tom Lowe

12/25/2007

 

 

Date: Thursday of Christ’s last week

Location: Jerusalem

Chapter 15 is a continuation of Jesus’ last words to His disciples. It began in Chapter 13 with the disciples being rebuked for their lack of humility. Then He told them that He would soon leave them, and that one of their number would betray Him. To offset the depression produced by this startling revelation, Christ brought a message of hope and encouragement in Chapter 14. Chapter 15 is more teaching meant to prepare them for His death as they are on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane.



INTRODUCTION

This 15th Chapter is a part of the Upper Room discourse, although our Lord did not speak it in the Upper Room.  At least the assumption is that He did not, because the last statement in Chapter 14 is, “Arise, let us go hence.” Somewhere between the Upper Room and the Garden of Gethsemane our Lord spoke the words found in chapters 15 and 16, then prayed the prayer, recorded in chapter 17 as he entered the garden.  Another suggestion has been made by several English expositors--and it is the one I accept--that that night He went by the temple, following the Law as He so meticulously did.  The gates would have been open during the Passover nights. 

There are three divisions that can be made to Chapter 15 of John that relate to the Lord Jesus Christ—His life, His Love, and His name.
His life (1–8). A branch is good for only one thing—bearing fruit. It may be weak in itself, but it has a living relationship with the vine and can be productive. To abide in Christ means to be in communion with Him so that our lives please Him. We know that we are abiding when the Father prunes us, cutting away the good so that we can produce the best. We glorify God with fruit, more fruit, and much fruit.
His love (9–17). Abiding depends on obeying, and obeying depends on loving. Love and joy go together and make it easy for us to obey His will. We should love Him, love His will, and love one another. Note the “fruit of the Spirit”: love (v. 10), joy (v. 11), and peace (14:27; Gal. 5:22).
His name (18–27). We enjoy the love of Christ and of the brethren, but we also must endure the hatred of the world for His name’s sake. The more we are like Christ, the more the world system will oppose us. Depend on the Spirit’s power and you will be a fruitful, faithful Christian (vv. 26–27).


Part 1: His life (1–8).

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


In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was depicted as a vine planted by Jehovah (Isaiah 5:1–7)[1]. But the nation proved unfaithful and unfruitful, so the Lord Jesus now presented Himself as the true vine, the perfect fulfillment of all the other types and shadows. God the Father is the husbandman, or the One who owns the vineyard and who takes care of it.

These disciples had Jewish concepts and their thought patterns had been governed by the Old Testament.  He is telling them now that the nation Israel is not the genuine vine.  Their identification with the Jewish nation and the Jewish religion is not the essential thing.  “I am the genuine vine.” The important thing now is for the disciples to be related to Jesus Christ.  That was revolutionary!

I am the true vine. This is one of the seven “I am” statements showing the deity of Christ, and they are all found in John’s Gospel. The other six are:
1)    “I am the bread of life” (6:35, 48)
2)    “I am the light of the world” (8:12; 9:5)
3)    “I am the door” (10:7, 9)
4)    “I am the good shepherd” (10:11, 14)
5)    “I am the resurrection, and the life” (11:25)
6)    “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (14:6)   

"True," as it is used here, means “genuine,” all that a vine should be in a spiritual sense.

"Husbandman" appears 26 times in the King James Bible. It stands for a tiller of the soil, a vine dresser, a land-worker (farmer). Here Christ speaks of the Father as the “Husbandman,” Himself as the Vine, His disciples as the branches (v. 2), and the object is to bear much fruit. The believer’s life in Christ should produce the fruit of the Spirit, i.e., character and behavior in conformity to Christ.

God the Father is the One who “prunes” the branches so that they will produce more fruit. Many Christians pray that God will make them more fruitful, but they do not enjoy the pruning process that follows.

How does the Father prune us? Sometimes He simply uses the Word to convict and cleans us (The word translated “purge” is translated as “clean” here and in John 13:10; also see Ephesians 5:26-27. Sometimes He must cleanse us. At the time it hurts when He removes something precious from us; but as the “spiritual crop” is produced, we see that the Father knows what He was doing.

VINE. The vines of Palestine were celebrated both for luxuriant growth and for the immense clusters of grapes which they produced, which were sometimes carried on a staff between two men, as in the case of the spies ( Numbers 13:23)[2], and as has been done in some instances in modern times. Because of the abundance and excellence of the vines, it may easily be understood why this plant is frequently the subject of metaphor in the Holy Scriptures. To dwell under the vine and fig tree is an emblem of domestic happiness and peace ( Psalm. 128:3)[3]. It is a vine which our Lord selects to show the spiritual union which exists between Himself and His people.

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.

Opinions differ as to what is meant by the branch in Him that does not bear fruit. Some think that this is a false professor. He pretends to be a Christian but has never really been united to Christ by faith. Others think it is a true Christian who loses his salvation because of his failure to bear fruit. This is clearly impossible because it contradicts so many other passages which teach that the believer has an eternal salvation. Others think it is a true Christian who becomes a backslider. He gets away from the Lord and becomes interested in the things of this world. He fails to exhibit the fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance.

A true branch united with the vine, will always bear fruit. Not every branch bears a bumper crop, just like every field does not have a bumper harvest ( Matthew 13:8, 23)[4], but there is always fruit where there is life.
Exactly what the Lord does to the unfruitful branch depends on how the Greek verb “airo” is translated.
a)    It can mean “takes away” (as used in  John 1:29[5]); which would refer to physical death ( 1 Cor. 11:30)[6]. Just as the husbandman disposes of branches that bear no fruit, so the Father judges those who bear no spiritual fruit. He gets rid of them.
b)    The husbandman prunes the branches which bear fruit in order for them to bear more fruit. The branch that bears fruit is the Christian who is growing more like the Lord Jesus. Even such vines need to be pruned or cleansed. Just as a real vine must be cleaned from insects, mildew, and fungus, so a Christian must be cleansed from worldly things that cling to him.  God removes all things in the believers life that would hinder fruit-bearing, i.e., He chastises to cut away sin and hindrances that would drain spiritual life just as the farmer removes anything on the branches that would keep them from bearing maximum fruit ( Hebrews 12:3–11)[7].
c)    The same word may mean “lifts up.” Then it would be the positive ministry of encouraging the fruitless branch by making it easier to get light and air, and hopefully, to bear fruit.

Fruit is the natural product of a living organism. Spiritual fruit is a spiritual product of a spiritual union ( Gal 5:22–23)[8].

“In me,” that is, in Christ, is what it means to be saved.

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

The cleansing agent is the Word of the Lord. The disciples had originally been cleansed by the Word at the time of their conversion. Just as the Savior had been talking to them, His Word had had a purifying effect on their lives. Thus, this verse may refer to justification and sanctification.

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.

Of itself, a branch is weak and useless. It is good for either bearing or burning, but not for building. The branch cannot produce its own life; it must draw that life from the vine. It is our communion with Christ through the Spirit that makes possible the bearing of the fruit.

The Christian has been placed in Christ; that is his position.

Abide in me.
In order to be a fruitful Christian, one must learn to depend on Christ and let the power and Spirit of Christ flow through him. In his daily walk, he should stay in intimate fellowship with the Lord. A branch abides in a vine by drawing all its life and nourishment from the vine. So we abide in Christ by spending time in prayer, reading and obeying His Word, fellowshipping with His people, and being continually conscious of our union with Him. As we, in this way, maintain constant contact with Him, we are conscious of His abiding in us and supplying us with spiritual strength and resources.

The branch can only bear fruit as it abides in the vine. The only way believers can bear the fruit of a Christ-like character is by living in touch with Christ moment by moment. Fruitfulness is the result of the Son’s being reproduced in the disciple.

Abide. The original meaning is to wait, stay, remain; and that meaning prevails today. In addition to the Hebrew word for stay or remain, 13 other Hebrew words are occasionally translated “abide” in the King James. Their primary meanings are such as: go in, sojourn, whirl, encamp, bear, spend the night, stand still, stand up, sit, dwell, cleave to, and even be. The 12 Greek words translated “abide” in the New Testament are not so scattered in meaning.

Abiding in Christ
How can we tell if we are “abiding in Christ”? Is there a special feeling? No, but there are special evidences that appear and they are unmistakably clear. For one thing, when you are abiding in Christ, you produce fruit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance. Also, you experience the Father’s “pruning” so that you will bear more fruit. The believer who is abiding in Christ has his prayers answered and experiences a deeper love for Christ and for other believers. He also experiences joy.

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.

Christ Himself is the vine; believers are vine branches. It is not a question of the branch living its life for the Vine, but simply of letting the life of the Vine flow out through the branches. Sometimes we pray, “Lord, help me to live my life for You.” It would be better to pray, “Lord Jesus, live out Your life through me.” Without Christ, we can do nothing. A vine branch has one great purpose—to bear fruit. It is useless for making furniture or for building homes. It does not even make good firewood. But it is good for fruit bearing—as long as it abides in the vine.

So what is the fruit that our Lord is talking about?  I do not believe that the fruit mentioned here refers to soul-winning. Soul-winning is a by-product but not the fruit itself.  The fruit is the fruit of the Spirit.  “But the fruit Of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance…” (Galatians 5:22-23).  This is fruit in the life of the believer.  Abiding in Christ will produce effectual prayer, perpetual fruit, and celestial joy. This is for all believers, since each one enjoys equality and status with all others.

In verse 2 it refers to more fruit, and in verses 5 and 8 it refers to much fruit.

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.

Verse 6 has caused much difference of opinion. Some believe that the person described is a believer who falls into sin and is subsequently lost. Such an interpretation is in direct contradiction to the many verses of Scripture which teach that no true child of God will ever perish. Others believe that this person is a professor—one who pretends to be a Christian but who was never born again. Judas is often used as an illustration.

I believe that this person is a true believer, because that is the subject of this section. The subject is not salvation and it does not refer to everlasting punishment in hell, but instead it does refer to abiding and fruit-bearing. But through carelessness and prayerlessness this believer gets out of touch with the Lord. As a result, he commits some sin, and his testimony is ruined. Through failure to abide in Christ, he is thrown out as a branch—not by Christ, but by other people. The branches are gathered and thrown into the fire, and they are burned. It is not God who does it, but people. What does this mean? It means that people poke fun at this backslidden Christian. They drag his name in the mud. They throw his testimony as a Christian into the fire. This is well illustrated in the life of David. He was a true believer, but he became careless toward the Lord and committed the sins of adultery and murder. He caused the enemies of the Lord to commit blasphemy. Even today, atheists ridicule the name of David (and of David’s God). They cast him, as it were, into the fire. When the Christian fails to abide in Christ, he withers, dries up, and his fruit or works will be judged by fire ( I Corinthians 3:12–15)[9].

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.

Abiding is the secret of a successful prayer life. The closer we get to the Lord, the more our thoughts will be like His thoughts. The more we get to know Him through His Word, the more we will understand His will. The more our will agrees with His, the more we can be sure of having our prayers answered.  In contrast to verse six, the emphasis in verses seven and eight is positive: remain with Jesus and bear much fruit.  Effective prayer is based on faith and His words.

Fulfilled prayers bring Glory to the Father because, like Jesus, His disciples are doing the heavenly Fathers will.

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

As the children of God exhibit the likeness of Christ to the world, the Father is glorified. People are forced to confess that He must be a great God when He can transform such wicked sinners into such godly saints. Notice the progression in this chapter: fruit (v. 2), more fruit (v. 2), much fruit (v. 8).

So shall ye be my disciples.
This means that we prove to be His disciples when we abide in Him. Others can then see that we are true disciples, that we resemble our Lord.

Discipleship is a growing dynamic thing. The more fruit we bear, the more truly we are fulfilling the pattern of disciples, those who learn of Christ in order to be like Him. God is glorified in this way.


Part 2: His Love (9–17).

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

The love which the Savior has for us is the same as the love of the Father for the Son. Our hearts are made to bow in worship when we read such words. Christ’s love for us is the same in quality and degree. It is “a vast, wide, deep, immeasurable love, which passes knowledge, and can never be fully comprehended by man.”

“Continue ye in my love.,”
said our Lord. This means we should continue to realize His love and to enjoy it in our lives.

It is interesting to note that this is the first fruit of the Spirit mentioned in 8Galatians 5:22. Christ remained in the Father’s love because He obeyed Him. We remain in Christ’s love because we obey His commandments ( 14:21, 23–24)[10].

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.

The first part of verse 10 tells us how we can abide in His love; it is by keeping His commandments. “There is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.” The second half of the verse sets before us our Perfect Example. The Lord Jesus kept His Father’s commandments. Everything He did was in obedience to the will of God. He remained in the constant enjoyment of the Father’s love. Nothing ever came in to mar that sweet sense of loving fellowship.

Active dependence and loving obedience are the proper paths for all of God’s children.

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

Jesus found His own deep joy in communion with God His Father. He wanted His disciples to have that joy that comes from dependence upon Him. He wanted His joy to be theirs. Man’s idea of joy is to be as happy as he can by leaving God out of his life. The Lord taught that real joy comes by taking God into one’s life as much as possible. “That your joy might be full.or “fulfilled.” Their joy would be fulfilled by abiding in Christ and in keeping His commandments. Many have used John 15 to teach doubts concerning the security of the believer. They have used the earlier verses to show that a sheep of Christ might eventually perish. But the Lord’s purpose was not “that your doubts may be full,” but that your joy might be full.

Joy is the second fruit of the Spirit. The abiding relationship we have with Christ, also gives us Christ’s joy. Christ promises them fruit, answered prayer, love, and joy as the result of abiding in Him. This promise is not fulfilled all at once; it may be partial at first, but the goal is to be full, leaving no room for fear and dissatisfaction.

Part 3: The Command to Love One Another (12–17)

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

This is the second commandment found in chapter 15. The first is abide in me (vs. 7), and now Christ commands them to love one another. He defines the extent of that love in the phrase, as I have loved you.

The Lord would soon leave His disciples. They would be left in a hostile world. As tensions increased, there would be the danger of the disciples’ contending with one another. And so the Lord leaves this standing order, “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.

Their love should be of such a nature that they should be willing to die for one another. People who are willing to do this do not fight with each other. The greatest example of human self-sacrifice was for a man to die for his friends. The Disciples of Christ are called to this type of devotion. Some lay down their lives in a literal sense; others spend their whole lives in untiring service for the people of God. The Lord Jesus is the Example. He laid down His life for His friends. Of course, they were enemies when He died for them, but when they are saved, they become His friends. So it is correct to say that He died for His friends as well as for His enemies.
Love is giving sacrificially for others. Love is not an emotional feeling, but it is the act of giving ( John 3:16)[11].

14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.


In our hymn books are songs like “Jesus is a friend of Mine” and “There’s not a Friend Like the Lowly Jesus.” Friend, let me say this kindly.  There is no lowly Jesus today but a glorified Christ at God’s right hand.  Calling Jesus a friend of mine is sentimental and really wrong.  If I would say that the president of the United States is my friend, I bring him down to my level.  If he says that I am his friend that is wonderful.  Listen to what Jesus says.  “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I Command you.” We don’t need all this sentimental trash today.  We need some honest heart-searching.  Are we doing what Jesus has commanded us to do?  Obedience is an essential to abiding.

Abraham Was Called God’s “friend” ( 2 Chronicles 20:7[12];  Isaiah 41:8[13]) because he obeyed God. Like close friends, Abraham and God communicated well with each other ( Genesis 18:17)[14].

We show that we are His friends by doing whatsoever He commands us. This is not the way we become His friends, but rather the way we exhibit it to the world. To be a friend of Christ means to obey Him.

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 Lord here emphasized the difference between servants and friends. Servants are simply expected to do the work marked out for them, but friends are taken into one’s confidence. To the friend we reveal our plans for the future. Confidential information is shared with him. In one sense the disciples would always continue to be servants of the Lord, but they would be more than this—they would be friends. The Lord was even now revealing to them the things which He had heard from His Father. He was telling them of His own departure, the coming of the Holy Spirit, His own coming again, and their responsibility to Him in the meantime. This does not mean that all that was revealed was understood by His followers.

When Paul spoke of himself as “a servant of God” ( Romans 1:1)[15], he had a different idea in mind.  He meant he willingly and humbly served and obeyed God.

Someone has pointed out that as branches, we receive (v. 5); as disciples, we follow (v. 8); and as friends, we commune (v. 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.

In case there may be any tendency for them to become discouraged and give up, Jesus reminded them that He was the One who chose them. This may mean that He chose them to eternal salvation, to discipleship, or to fruitfulness. He had appointed the disciples to the work which lay before them. Although they were Christ’s friends, this was by His choice, not their choice. His choice was first motivated by the desire to have them ( Mark 3:14)[16], and then to send them out as His missionaries.

We should go and bring forth fruit.
Fruit may mean the graces of the Christian life, such as love, joy, peace, etc. Or it may mean souls won for the Lord Jesus Christ. There is a close link between the two. It is only as we are manifesting the first kind of fruit that we will ever be able to bring forth the second.

The expression “that your fruit should remain” leads us to think that fruit here means the salvation of souls. The Lord chose the disciples to go and bring forth lasting fruit. He was not interested in mere professions of faith in Himself, but in genuine cases of salvation. L. S. Chafer notes that in this chapter we have prayer effectual (v. 7), joy celestial (v. 11), and fruit perpetual (v. 16).

“That whatsoever ye shall ask.” The secret of effective service is prayer. The disciples were sent forth with the guarantee that the Father would grant them whatever they asked in Christ’s name.

Ordained you (appointed you). It refers to the act of setting someone apart for special service. We have been graciously chosen and set apart by the Lord in order to go into the world and bear fruit. He has sent us into the world ( John 17:18)[17] as his personal ambassadors to tell others about the King and His great salvation. When  we witness to others and bring them to Christ, this is bringing forth fruit to the glory of God.

Bring forth fruit. It is evident that the fruit refers to love and its results (vs. 8–14). Note the progression. To abide means to bear fruit; to bear fruit means to experience answered prayer (he may give it you).

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you.  Jesus reminded them that contrary to the common practice of disciples picking a teacher, Jesus had chosen them.  A great many people do not like the doctrine of election, but it is wonderful and practical.  Many a discouraged Christian has cast himself on the Lord saying, “Lord, you called me and chose me and I am your child.” Dr. G.  Campbell Morgan said, “He chose me, therefore I am His responsibility.” That is trust!

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


He repeats the command given in verse 12—Love one another. Loving one another is a command, not an option.

The Lord was about to warn the disciples about the hostility of the world. He began by telling them to love one another, to stick together, and to stand united against the foe.

Part 3: His Name (18–27).

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

Christ turns from the subject of love to the subject of hate. Hate (occurs eight times in the rest of the discourse.) The disciples were not to be surprised or disheartened if the world hates them. (The "if" does not express any doubt that this would happen; it was certain.) The world hated the Lord, and it will hate all who resemble Him.

Men of the world love those who live as they do—those who use vile language and indulge in the lusts of the flesh, or people who are cultured but live only for themselves. Christians condemn them by their holy lives, therefore the world hates them.

I believe that a Christian’s popularity can be an indication of how he is representing Christ to the world.  I do not believe a Christian can be popular in the world.  No Christian has any right to be more popular than Jesus was.  Beware of a compromising position in order to be popular.

World (Gr kosmos). This includes all who are not friends of Christ.  To say the same thing but make it sound theological, you could say that in John’s Gospel the world is the system of organized society that is hostile to God, which is under Satan’s power ( John 14:30)[18].  Believers might be surprised by this hostility ( 1 Peter 4:12–13)[19], but they should remember that Jesus was hated from his birth (when Herod the Great sought to kill him) to his death on the cross

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.

The world can love only those who are of the world. Since the friends of Christ have been chosen out of the world the world, logically, hates them.

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.
    
Jesus reminded his disciples of a statement He had made earlier: No servant is greater than his master (John 13:16).  Previously He was referring to their need to imitate His humble service.  But the principle has other applications.  Christians are to identify so closely with Jesus that they share in His sufferings (they will persecute you also).  On the positive side, some people followed and obeyed Jesus’ teaching, so they also responded to the apostle’s message.

Here servant literally means “slave.” A disciple should not expect any better treatment from the world than his Lord (Master) received. He will be persecuted just as Christ was. His word will be refused just as the Savior’s was. The basis of the world’s hostility will be the lack of the knowledge of God.

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

This hatred and persecution is “for My name’s sake.” It is because the believer is linked to Christ; because he has been separated from the world by Christ; and because he bears Christ’s name and likeness. The world is ignorant of God. They do not know that the Father sent the Lord into the world to be the Savior. But ignorance is no excuse. The root of the world’s rejection of the disciples was their rejection of the Father who had sent the Son.

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

The Lord was not teaching here that if He had not come, then men would not have been sinners. From the time of Adam, all men had been sinners. But their sin would not have been nearly so great as it now was. These men had seen the Son of God and heard His wonderful words. They could find no fault in Him whatsoever. Yet they rejected Him. It was this that made their sin so great. And so it was a matter of comparison. Compared with their terrible sin of rejecting the Lord of glory, their other sins were as nothing. Now they had no cloke (excuse) for their sin. They had rejected the Light of the world!

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

In hating Christ, they hated His Father also. The Two are One. They could not say that they loved God, for if they had, they would have loved the One God sent. The Jews claimed to obey the Father, and yet they hated the Son. In reality, they hated both the Father and the Son.

You can say you believe in God and be popular.  The real test is your relationship and attitude toward Jesus Christ.  You cannot be popular and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, because He is the One who is hated.
The cost of hating Christ is the condemnation of hating the Father as well. Men cannot treat the Father in one way and the Son in another.

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.

They were not only responsible for having heard the teaching of Christ; they also saw His miracles. This added to their condemnation. They saw works which no one else had ever performed. To reject Christ in face of this evidence was inexcusable and it was sin. The Lord compared all their other sins to this one sin, and said that the former were as nothing when placed alongside the latter. Because they hated the Son, they hated His Father, and this was their terrible condemnation.

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

The Lord realized that man’s attitude toward Him was in exact fulfillment of prophecy. It was predicted in  Psalm 69:4[20] that Christ would be hated ... without a cause. Now that it had happened, the Lord commented that the very Old Testament which these men prized had predicted their senseless hatred of Him. The fact that it was prophesied did not mean that these men had to hate Christ. They hated Him by their own deliberate choice, but God foresaw that it would happen, and He caused David to write it down in Psalm 69 (Please take the time to read this great Psalm.). The very scriptures the Jews glorified in rose up to condemn them.

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:


In spite of man’s rejection, there would be a continued testimony to Christ. It would be carried on by the Comforter—the Holy Spirit. Here the Lord said that He would send the Spirit from the Father. In John 14:16[21], the Father was the One who sent the Spirit. This is another proof of the equality of the Son and the Father? Who but God could send One who is God?

The Spirit of truth ... proceeds from the Father. This means that He is constantly being sent forth by God, and His coming at the day of Pentecost was a special instance of this.

The Spirit testifies concerning Christ.
This is His great mission. He does not seek to occupy men with Himself, though He is one of the members of the Trinity. But He directs the attention of both sinner and saint to the Lord of glory.

Comforter (Gr paraklētos, one called alongside to help). Christ would pray to the Father, and they would receive a Helper.

Another (Gr allos, another of the same kind). This would indicate that the Comforter would be of the same quality and character as Christ. The Comforter would be God.

Christ would go away (v. 14:2), but the Comforter would remain for ever.

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

The disciples would not face the world alone. They would have the divine Helper, the Spirit of truth. He would press home the truth about men’s sinful condition and the truth about Christ, the remedy for that sin.

The Spirit would testify directly through the disciples. They had been with the Lord from the beginning of His public ministry and were especially qualified to tell of His Person and work. If anyone could have found any imperfection in the Lord, those who had been with Him the most could have. But they never knew Him to commit a sin of any kind. They could testify to the fact that He was the sinless Son of God and the Savior of the world.

Jesus told these men that they would bear witness to Him, and they certainly did that.  It is the Message of John concerning the Lord Jesus Christ that we are studying right now.  No one but the apostles could have such a witness because they had been with Jesus from the beginning.

As the apostles witnessed, the Holy Spirit persuaded, and people were saved.  The same combination of human obedience to the divine command (Acts 1:8) coupled if the witness of the Spirit is needed in every generation.
Christ has concluded His discourse on hatred by reminding the disciples that they will not be alone. The Spirit of truth will bear witness (testify) of me. The witness of God’s Spirit will cooperate with that of the disciples to give powerful testimony to the mission and purpose of Christ.


________________________Scripture References___________________________
 [1](Isaiah 5:1–7) 1Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: 2And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, and planted it with the choicest vine, and built a tower in the midst of it, and also made a winepress therein: and he looked that it should bring forth grapes, and it brought forth wild grapes. 3And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem, and men of Judah, judge, I pray you, betwixt me and my vineyard. 4What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes? 5And now go to; I will tell you what I will do to my vineyard: I will take away the hedge thereof, and it shall be eaten up; and break down the wall thereof, and it shall be trodden down: 6And I will lay it waste: it shall not be pruned, nor digged; but there shall come up briers and thorns: I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain upon it. 7For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah his pleasant plant: and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry.  

 [2] (Numbers 13:23) And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs.  

 [3](Psalm 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.  

 [4] (Matthew 13:8, 23) But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit, some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold…But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.  

 [5](John 1:29) The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.  

 [6](1 Cor. 11:30) For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  

 [7](Hebrews 12:3-11) 3For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. 4Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin. 5And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: 6For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. 7If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? 8But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 9Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? 10For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. 11Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

 [8](Gal 5:22–23) 22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

 [9] (I Corinthians 3:12–15) 12Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 15If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.  

 [10] (John 14:21, 23–24) 21He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…23Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.  

 [11](John 3:16) “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” The gospel in a nutshell. The love of God shown in action. (1) The source of love—God. (2) The extent of love—the world. (3) The sacrifice of love—He gave his only begotten Son. (4) The results of love—whosoever believeth in him should not perish.

 [12] (2 Chronicles 20:7) Art not thou our God, who didst drive out the inhabitants of this land before thy people Israel, and gavest it to the seed of Abraham thy friend for ever?  

 [13]( Isaiah 41:8) But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.

 [14](Genesis 18:17) And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;  

 [15] (Romans 1:1) Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

 [16](Mark 3:14) And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

 [17] (John 17:18) As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.  

 [18](John 14:30) “Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” The Lord knew that the time for His betrayal was approaching and that He would not have much more time to talk with His own. Satan was even then drawing near, but the Savior knew that the enemy could find no taint of sin in Him. There was nothing in Christ to respond to the devil’s evil temptations. It would be ridiculous for anyone else but Jesus to say that Satan could find nothing in him.  
 
 [19](1 Peter 4:12–13) 12Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: 13But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.

 [20](Psalm 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.”

Why? What hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
He gave the blind their sight.
Sweet injuries!
Yet they at these
Themselves displease,
And ’gainst Him rise.
—Samuel Crossman
 

 [21] (John 14:16) And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 

Do you have any questions or comments?

Dustin Hoffman is the Academy award-winning actor who has amazed audiences with some incredible characters. In a recent interview, Hoffman revealed his plans for the epitaph on his tombstone. He says it will simply read, “I knew this was going to happen.” Death is something we all know is going to happen, but too often we think of it happening to someone else. It will happen to each of us and we need to be spiritually prepared when it comes.

Houston Chronicle, Jan. 4, 1998, p. 2A
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