Bible Commentary

John 15

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

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(Read all of John 15)

Verse 2

[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.

Every one that beareth fruit, he purifieth — by obeying the truth, 1 Peter 1:22; and by inward or outward sufferings, Hebrews 12:10,11. So purity and fruitfulness help each other.

That it may bear more fruit — For this is one of the noblest rewards God can bestow on former acts of obedience, to make us yet more holy, and fit for farther and more eminent service.

Verse 3

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

Ye are clean — All of you, to whom I now speak, are purged from the guilt and power of sin; by the word - Which, applied by the Spirit, is the grand instrument of purifying the soul.

Verse 4

[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.

Abide in me — Ye who are now pure by living faith, producing all holiness; by which alone ye can be in me.

Verse 5

[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.

I am the vine, ye are the branches — Our Lord in this whole passage speaks of no branches but such as are, or at least were once, united to him by living faith.

Verse 6

[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.

If any one abide not in me — By living faith; not by Church communion only. He may thus abide in Christ, and be withered all the time, and cast into the fire at last.

He is cast out — Of the vineyard, the invisible Church. Therefore he was in it once.

Verse 7

[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.

If ye abide in me, ye shall ask — Prayers themselves are a fruit of faith, and they produce more fruit.

Verse 8

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

So shall ye be my disciples — Worthy of the name. To be a disciple of Christ is both the foundation and height of Christianity.

Verse 9

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

Abide ye in my love — Keep your place in my affection. See that ye do not forfeit that invaluable blessing. How needless a caution, if it were impossible for them not to abide therein?

Verse 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.

If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love — On these terms, and no other, ye shall remain the objects of my special affection.

Verse 11

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

That my joy might remain in you — The same joy which I feel in loving the Father, and keeping his commandments.

Verse 12

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

Your joy will be full, if ye so love one another.

Verse 13

[13] Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Greater love — To his friends. He here speaks of them only.

Verse 14

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

Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you — On this condition, not otherwise. A thunderbolt for Antinomianism! Who then dares assert that God's love does not at all depend on man's works?

Verse 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.

All things — Which might be of service to you.

Verse 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.

Ye — My apostles, have not chosen me, but I have chosen you - As clearly appears from the sacred history: and appointed you, that ye may go and bear fruit - I have chosen and appointed you for this end, that ye may go and convert sinners: and that your fruit may remain - That the fruit of your labours may remain to the end of the world; yea, to eternity; that whatsoever ye shall ask - The consequence of your going and bearing fruit will be, that all your prayers will he heard.

Verse 19

[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.

Because ye are not of the world, therefore the world hateth you — Because your maxims, tempers, actions, are quite opposite to theirs. For the very same reason must the world in all ages hate those who are not of the world.

Verse 20

[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.

John 13:16; Matthew 10:24; Luke 6:40.

Verse 21

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

All these things will they do to you, because they know not him that sent me — And in all ages and nations they who know not God will, for this cause, hate and persecute those that do.

Verse 22

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

They had not had sin — Not in this respect.

Verse 23

[23] He that hateth me hateth my Father also.

He that hateth me — As every unbeliever doth, For as the love of God is inseparable from faith, so is the hatred of God from unbelief.

Verse 25

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

Psalms 69:4.

Verse 26

[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:

When the Comforter is come, whom I will send from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me — The Spirit's coming, and being sent by our Lord from the Father, to testify of him, are personal characters, and plainly distinguish him from the Father and the Son; and his title as the Spirit of truth, together with his proceeding from the Father, can agree to none but a Divine person. And that he proceeds from the Son, as well as from the Father, may be fairly argued from his being called the Spirit of Christ, 1 Peter 1:11; and from his being here said to be sent by Christ from the Father, as well as sent by the Father in his name.

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