John 15

The branches must stay in the vine

1 Jesus said, ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 Some branches that are part of me may have no fruit on them. My Father completely removes all those branches. But other branches do have fruit. My Father cuts all those branches to make them better. Then they will be good and make more fruit. 3 The words that I have spoken to you have made you good already. 4 Continue to live in me, and I will continue to live in you. A branch cannot make fruit by itself. It can make fruit only if it continues to be part of the vine. You are like that. You cannot make fruit unless you continue to live in me.

15:1A vine is a plant that has many small, sweet fruits called grapes. People make wine from grapes.
15:4Jesus speaks about fruit as a picture of the good things that will happen if we keep near to him, like a branch that belongs to a vine.

5 I am the vine, and you are the branches. You must continue to live in me and I must continue to live in you. Only if you do that will you make plenty of fruit. That is because you can do nothing without me. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, that person is like a dead branch. The gardener will throw that branch away and it will die. People throw all those dead branches into the fire so that they burn. 7 You must remain in me, and my teaching must remain in you. Then you may ask for anything that you want. God will do it for you. 8 If you make plenty of fruit, that will give honour to my Father. You will show that you are truly my disciples.

9 I have loved you in the same way that the Father has loved me. Continue to live in a way that shows my love. 10 If you obey what I have told you, you will be living in my love. In the same way, I have obeyed what my Father has told me to do. In that way, I live in his love. 11 I want you to be completely happy, in the same way that I myself am happy. That is why I have told you these things.

12 This is the rule that I give to you: You must love each other, in the same way that I have loved you. 13 A person really loves his friends if he dies so that they can live. Nobody could love anyone more than that. 14 And you are my friends, if you obey my message. 15 A servant does not know what his master is doing. So I do not call you servants any more. No, I call you my friends. This is because I have told you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. I chose you to go and to make plenty of fruit. That kind of fruit will continue always. For that reason, the Father will help you with anything that you ask him. If you ask him in my name, he will do it for you. 17 This is what I tell you to do: You must love each other.’

15:16Jesus says that his disciples should ask for things ‘in his name’. This means ‘because they belong to him’. So they will ask only for things that God is happy to give to them.

People will hate the disciples

18 ‘The people who belong to this world may hate you. But remember this: They hated me before they hated you. 19 If you belonged to this world, this world's people would love you. They would love you because you would belong with them. But I chose you so that you would be separate from this world's people. You do not belong with them, so they hate you. 20 Remember what I told you: “No servant is more important than his master is.” If they have caused trouble for me, they will also cause trouble for you. But if they have obeyed my message, they will also obey your message. 21 They will do all these things to you because you belong to me. They will do them because they do not know the one who sent me.

22 I have come and I have spoken my message to them. If I had not done that, they would not have been guilty of their sin. But now they cannot say, “We have not done anything wrong.” 23 Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. 24 When I was with them, I did many great things. Nobody else ever did things like that. If I had not done those great things among them, they would not have known what is wrong. But they have seen what I did. As a result, they have hated me, and they have hated my Father too. 25 Their book of God's Law says, “They hated me without any good reason.” What that book already said long ago had to happen.

15:25See Psalm 35:19; 69:4.

26 When I return to my Father, I will send the Helper to you. The Helper is God's Spirit who speaks only true things. He comes to you from the Father. I will send him to you and he will speak true things about me. 27 You also must speak to people about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.’