Life Application Study Bible 3rd Edition NLT - Flipbook - Page 61
J ohn 1 5
23Jesus replied, “All who love me will do what I say. My Father will love them, and we
will come and make our home with each of them. 24Anyone who doesn’t love me will not
obey me. And remember, my words are not my own. What I am telling you is from the
Father who sent me. 25I am telling you these things now while I am still with you. 26But
when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he
will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.
27“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a
gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. 28Remember what I told you:
I am going away, but I will come back to you again. If you really loved me, you would
be happy that I am going to the Father, who is greater than I am. 29I have told you these
things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.
30 “I don’t have much more time to talk to you, because the ruler of this world approaches. He has no power over me, 31but I will do what the Father requires of me, so
that the world will know that I love the Father. Come, let’s be going.
Jesus Teaches about the Vine and the Branches (215)
“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch
of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear
fruit so they will produce even more. 3You have already been pruned and purified by
the message I have given you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch
cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you
remain in me.
5“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them,
will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6Anyone who does
not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are
gathered into a pile to be burned. 7But if you remain in me and my words remain in you,
14:26 Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would help
them remember what he had been teaching them. This promise ensures
the validity of the New Testament. The disciples were eyewitnesses of
Jesus’ life and teachings, and the Holy Spirit helped them remember
without taking away their individual perspectives. Therefore, we can be
confident that the Gospels are accurate records of what Jesus taught
and did (see 1 Corinthians 2:10-14). Also, the Holy Spirit can help us in
the same way he helped the disciples. As we study the Bible, we can trust
him to plant truth in our minds, convince us of God’s will, and remind
us when we stray from it.
14:27 The Holy Spirit’s work brings deep and lasting peace to our
hearts and minds. Unlike worldly peace, which is usually defined as the
absence of conflict, Jesus’ peace gives us confident assurance in any
circumstance. With his peace, we have no need to fear the present or
the future. Sin, fear, uncertainty, doubt, and despair are at war within us,
but the peace of God restrains these hostile forces and offers comfort in
place of conflict. Jesus says he will give us that peace if we are willing
to accept it from him. When you feel the stress of life, allow the Holy
Spirit to fill you with Jesus’ peace (see Philippians 4:6-7 for more on
experiencing God’s peace).
14:28 As God the Son, Jesus willingly submits to God the Father. On
earth, Jesus also submitted to many of the physical limitations of his
humanity (Philippians 2:6).
14:30-31 Although Satan, the ruler of this world, was unable to
overpower Jesus (Matthew 4:1-11), he still had the arrogance to try.
Satan’s power exists only because God allows him to act. But because
Jesus is sinless, Satan has no power over him. If we obey Jesus and
align ourselves closely with God’s purposes, Satan can have no power
over us, either.
14:31 “Come, let’s be going” suggests that John 15 through 17 may have
been spoken en route to the garden of Gethsemane. Another view is that
Jesus was asking the disciples to get ready to leave the upper room, but
they did not actually do so until later (18:1).
15:1-8 Jesus is the Vine, and God is the Gardener, who carefully plants
and cares for the branches with one p urpose—that they may bear fruit.
The branches are all those who claim to be followers of Jesus. The fruitful
branches are true believers who, by their union with him, produce much
1 Jn 4:16; 5:3
Rev 3:20; 21:3
John 7:16; 14:10
John 1:33; 15:26;
1 Jn 2:20, 27
John 16:33; 20:19
John 10:18; 12:49
Matt 3:10; 7:19;
fruit. Being united with Jesus means drawing our energy and nourishment
from him (see Colossians 2:6-7). But those who don’t bear fruit—those
who make only a superficial commitment to Jesus—will be separated
from the Vine. Unfruitful “followers” are useless and will be cut off and
15:1 The grapevine is a useful, prolific plant. It produces fruit to eat,
raisins to store, and wine for meals and ceremonies. A single vine supports
numerous branches and bears many grapes. In the Old Testament, grapes
symbolize Israel’s fruitfulness in doing God’s work on the earth (Psalm
80:8; Isaiah 5:1-7; Ezekiel 19:10-14). In the Passover meal, the fruit of the
vine symbolizes God’s goodness to his people.
15:2-3 Jesus makes a distinction between two kinds of pruning: (1) cutting off branches and (2) cutting back branches. Fruitful branches are cut
back to promote growth. In other words, God must sometimes discipline
his people to strengthen our character and faith. But branches that don’t
bear fruit are cut off at the trunk not only because they are worthless but
also because they can infect the rest of the plant. People who don’t bear
fruit for God or who try to block the efforts of God’s followers will be cut
off from his life-giving power.
15:5-8 Many people try to be good and honest. But Jesus says that to
live a truly good life we must stay close to him, like a branch attached to
its vine. In the same way that plants receive nutrients from their roots, we
receive life-giving water from the Holy Spirit and food from God’s Word.
These provide spiritually regenerative power. Jesus told his disciples they
could ask for anything that would increase fruit bearing. Apart from Jesus,
we lose this connection and our efforts are unfruitful. Are you receiving
and thriving from the nourishment offered by Jesus, the Vine?
15:5-6 Remaining in Christ requires us to be fully connected to Jesus
moment by moment. It means (1) believing that he is God’s Son (1 John
4:15), (2) following him as Savior and Lord (John 1:12), (3) doing what
God says (1 John 3:24), (4) continuing to believe the Good News (1 John
2:24), and (5) relating in love to the community of believers, Christ’s
body (John 15:12).
15:5 “Fruit” is not limited to soul winning. In this chapter, answered
prayer, joy, and love are mentioned as fruit (15:7, 11, 12). Galatians
5:22-24 and 2 Peter 1:5-8 describe additional fruit: qualities of Christian