John 15: The last chapter took place in the upper room. In the last verse of the previous chapter, Arise said “Arise, let us go from here.” So they left the upper room and were on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane.
Their physical location at the time of this chapter is not especially important, but it would make sense if they were in the vicinity of the Temple. Since it was the Passover, the gates of the Temple would have been open during the night. The gates of the Temple were forged in Greece and floated over by boat to be the gates to Herod’s Temple. They were made of bronze and had a gold vine wrought into them. We will see that the vine symbolizes the nation of Israel.
Yeshua is going to use this backdrop to tell the last of His “I am” pronouncements. They are, in order: 1.”the bread of life”; 2. “the light of the world”; 3. “the door”; 4. “the good shepherd”; 5. “the resurrection and the life”; 6. “the way, the truth, and the life”; 7. “the true vine.”
These seven “I Am’s” confirm His deity. In the same way, the seven miracles chosen by John for exposition in his Gospel are evidence of Messiah’s deity (John 20:30-31). They are all miracles of creation (as distinct from miracles of providence which simply control rates or timing of natural processes), requiring suspension of one or both of the basic laws of science, also known as the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics, namely: the law of conservation of matter and/or energy, and the law of decreasing organization or available energy.
The signs are as follows: (1) turning water into wine (John 2:3-11); (2) healing of the terminal illness of a nobleman’s son by a word spoken six miles away (4:46-54); (3) new limbs for a lifelong hopelessly crippled man (5:2-9); (4) the feeding of a multitude with a few loaves and fishes (6:5-14); (5) walking on the water (6:15-21); (6) new eyes for a man born blind (9:1-7); and (7) the raising of Lazarus from the dead (11:3-44).
(John 15:1 NASB) “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
John 15:1: The disciples way of thinking was governed by the Tanakh. They understood that the “vine” was Israel, or Judah (Gen.49:8-11, Psalm 80:8-19, Hosea 10:1) Yeshua tells them that He is the “true vine.” He is saying that He is completely faithful to the Father (Jer. 2:21). Yeshua is telling that that He is the Branch spoken of in Scripture (Isa. 4:2-3,Zech 3:8). Isaiah complains of Israel’s turning into a wild vineyard, Jeremiah complains that the vine has turned into a degenerate plant, and Isaiah cries about Israel’s being an empty vine (Isa. 5:1-7). Yeshua is telling them that the true vine is not Israel due to their disobedience, but He says, “I am the genuine vine.” The man to be associated with Elohim is not through a bloodline, but through Yeshua.
He says “My Father is the vinedresser.” The Father takes care of the Son. In the Tahakh passages and in the parables, the Father is the owner of the vineyard. Here He is the owner, the farmer, the one who takes care of the vineyard (Isa. 27:1-3, Matt. 20:1, Mark 12:1). He is tending to the Vine. He is tending to the branches also, by the way.
The branches must be joined to the vine. Why? In order to bear fruit.
(John 15:2 NASB) “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.
John 15:2: What does it mean to bear fruit? This is in reference to being obedient to Torah (Prov. 1:29-31, Isa. 3:10-11, Psalm 92:12-15, Matt. 3:8-10). Every branch that does not bear fruit, He takes away (Isa. 27:11, Ezek. 15:1-7).
“Every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bear more fruit.” This also comes from the Tanakh (Job 17:9, Psalm 51:7-17, Isa. 29:19, Mal. 3:3).
(John 15:3 NASB) “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
John 15:3: We are cleansed through His Spirit by the Word of Elohim. That how Elohim purges sin out of our lives (Eph. 5:26, Psalm 119:9, Ezek. 36:25-27). That is how Elohim cleanses us and it is the only way our faithfulness can grow (Romans 10:17, Jer. 23:28-29).
(John 15:4 NASB) “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
John 15:4: We are to abide, or remain, in Messiah. How do we abide in Him? We abide in Him by keeping His commandments (John 14:20-24, 1 John 3:24). It is through Him that we bear fruit (Hosea 14:8).
(John 15:5 NASB) “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.
John 15:5: If we abide in Messiah, we will be obeying His Commandments, which is bearing much fruit (Prov. 11:30-31, Phil. 1:9-11, Col. 1:6, 9-10). Apart from the Spirit of the Father, we cannot be obedient to Him.
(John 15:6 NASB) “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch, and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
John 15:6: If one does not abide in Him, he is thrown away as a dried up branch and cast into the fire.
(John 15:7 NASB) “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.
John 15:7: If we abide in Messiah and keep His Words, whatever we wish will be done for us (Deut. 6:6-11, Prov. 4:4-13, Isaiah 58:8-10, 1 John 3:21-22, 2 John 1-6).
(John 15:8 NASB) “By this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
John 15:8: When we bear fruit and obey His Torah, Elohim is glorified (Psalm 22:23).
(John 15:9 NASB) “Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.
(John 15:10 NASB) “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love.
John 15:10: We abide in the love of Messiah when we keep His commandments (1 Cor. 7:19).
(John 15:11 NASB) “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.
John 15:11: He tells us to keep His commandments so we can abide in His love and that His joy might remain in us (Isa. 62:1-5).
(John 15:12 NASB) “This is My commandment, that you love one another, just as I have loved you.
John 15:12: Yeshua told them to love one another as He has loved them. If one is a follower or Torah, then they are a brother or sister. If they are a brother or sister, we will only be forgiven to the degree that we forgive them (Matt. 18:21-35).
(John 15:13 NASB) “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.
(John 15:14 NASB) “You are My friends, if you do what I command you.
John 15:14: Yeshua laid down His life for His friends, those who follow His Torah. We are to be like Him. The love and forgiveness we are to show those that love His Torah is unmeasurable.
This is a difficult subject for some, but it is something all of His people need to practice, love for one another. There are often things that keep us from liking one another or having affection for one another, but that cannot stand in the way of love for them. Love is action, not a feeling. What if Elohim finds us unlikable or irritating? Should we still expect love and forgiveness from Him? Do you want the love of Elohim perfected in you? Then forgive your brothers and sisters in Torah (1 John 2:8-11).
(John 15:15 NASB) “No longer do I call you slaves, for the slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from My Father I have made known to you.
John 15:15: Yeshua used several terms used to describe His disciples in Scripture. Here He calls them friends. He calls them servants in John 13:13-17. He calls them brothers in Matt. 12:46-50.
(John 15:16 NASB) “You did not choose Me, but I chose you, and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you.
John 15:16: This is an indisputable fact in Scripture. We do NOT choose Elohim. We do not choose Yeshua. He chooses us (Romans 9:11-24). Since He chose us, we are to go and bear fruit and our fruit should remain (Psalm 78:1-7). When we bear fruit in our lives, whatever we ask of the Father in the character of Yeshua, He will do (Psalm 37:3-6).
(John 15:17 NASB) “This I command you, that you love one another.
John 15:17: Yeshua tells us in very plain language that we are to love one other. This should show in our daily lives.
(John 15:18 NASB) “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.
(John 15:19 NASB) “If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
John 15:19: He says that He chose His people out of the world. We did not choose Him and save ourselves out of this world. If He chose us and we bear fruit, thee world will hate us also.
The world hates Him because He testifies against the world in their disobedience to Torah (John 7:3-7).
(John 15:20 NASB) “Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
(John 15:21 NASB) “But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me.
John 15:21: The world will persecute those who follow His Torah because they hate Him who sent Yeshua (Isa. 66:5).
(John 15:22 NASB) “If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.
John 15:22: Proclaiming Torah to those who do not know it takes away their excuse for their sin. Ezekiel’s mission was to tell Israel of their sin and take away their excuse (Ezek. 3:17-21). Israel did not listen to Ezekiel either (Ezek. 33:30-33).
(John 15:23 NASB) “He who hates Me hates My Father also.
(John 15:24 NASB) “If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated Me and My Father as well.
John 15:24: Yeshua proved who He was through the signs He performed and the obedience to Torah He displayed. They have both seen and hated Him and the Father as well. Those who reject Torah are the ones who are hostile to Elohim (Romans 8:6-8).
(John 15:25 NASB) “But they have done this in order that the word may be fulfilled that is written in their Law, ‘THEY HATED ME WITHOUT A CAUSE.’
John 15:25: This is a quote of and a fulfillment of Psalm 69:4.
(John 15:26 NASB) “When the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, that is the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, He will bear witness of Me,
(John 15:27 NASB) and you will bear witness also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
John 15:27: Many of these issues that Yeshua discussed in this chapter, were also discussed by John in his first letter. Yeshua spoke of obeying His commandments, loving our brother, our prayers being answered, and the Spirit bearing witness (1 John 5:1-15).
Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
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Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly
Fort Smith, Arkansas