John 15:15-27

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.

[I have called you friends] I have admitted you into a state of the most intimate fellowship with myself and have made known unto you whatsoever I have heard from the Father.

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 have not chosen me] Ye have not elected me as your teacher; I have called you to be my disciples; witnesses and depositories of the truth. It was customary among the Jews for every person to choose his own teacher.

[And ordained you] Rather, I have appointed you. The Greek word means I have put, or placed you, i.e. into the vine.
To be a genuine preacher of the Gospel, a man must:
(1) Be chosen of God to the work.
(2) He must be placed in the true vine, - united to Christ by faith.
(3) He must not think to lead an idle life, but labor.
(4) He must not wait till work be brought to him, but he must go and seek it.
(5) He must labor so as to bring forth fruit, i.e. to get souls converted to the Lord.
(6) He must refer all his fruit to God, who gave him the power to labor and blessed him in his work.
(7) He must take care to water what he has planted, that his fruit may remain - that the souls whom he has gathered in be not scattered from the flock.
(8) He must continue in prayer, that his labors may be accompanied with the presence and blessing of God - "Whatsoever ye shall ask."
(9) He must consider Jesus Christ as the great Mediator between God and man, proclaim salvation through him and pray in his name.

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

[Love one another] This exact phrase appears 13 times in the New Testament. The Holy Spirit made sure it could not be overlooked. There is plenty of hatred coming from the world toward Christ's representatives without the added burden of infighting. In the middle ages religious leaders were diverted from their main task by arguing over, "How many angels could dance on the head of a pin." Today it is acrimony over which translation of the Scriptures is approved by God. Here are a few verses to examine. Click on "back" to return from each verse. Mark 9:38-40, 1 Corinthians 3:1-8, James 4:11, Ephesians 4:30-32.
Imagine two farmers, partners, arguing over what kind of seed to plant. One wants the newest hybrid, the other, the old tried and true. Their argument is so long and heated that they lose the entire season. Such behavior would make them the laughingstock of the county.

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

[If the world hate you] As the followers of Christ were to be exposed to the hatred of the world, it was no small consolation to them to know that the hatred was directed toward them as representatives of the their Chief. It was no wonder that the world should hate them, since it hated Jesus, their Lord and Master, whose lips were without guile and whose conduct was irreproachable.

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.

How true is that saying, "The laws of Christ condemn a vicious world and goad it to revenge!" Gambold.

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.

[If they have kept my saying] Those who reject Christ and would have been party to his persecution had they been present will now behave the same way toward you. Those who believe in him will express their love for him by loving you and honoring your teaching as it honors Christ, God's visible and verbal Word. John 1:1-5.

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

[For my name's sake] Matthew 5:11-12.

[Because they know not him that sent me.] This is the foundation of all religious persecution. Those who are guilty of it, whether in church or state, know nothing of God. If God tolerates a worship which professes to have him for its object, and does not disturb the quiet or peace of society, no man has the smallest right to meddle with it, and he that does fights against God.

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

[But now they have no cloak for sin.] They are without excuse. They could have pretended that they did not know, but now, their own conscience convicts them.

23 He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
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.

"I and my Father are one." John 10:30-33.
Christ had done such works as demonstrated him to be the Messiah, yet they rejected him. Here lay their sin; and this sin and the punishment to which it exposed them, still remains, for they continue to reject the Lord that bought them.

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

[Written in their law] These words are taken from Psalm 69:4, a messianic Psalm which is prophetic of Christ.

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:

[But when the Comforter is come... he shall testify of me.] The Holy Spirit of God shall dwell in you, John 14:17, shall be your comforter, John 14:18, and teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance which I have told you, John 14:26.

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

Ye also shall bear witness] The Holy Spirit shall bear testimony in your souls and ye shall bear this testimony to the world. He shall reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgement: John 16:8, and shall empower you in your witness, Acts 1:8.

Based upon excerpts from Adam Clarke's Commentary, 2nd edition published in New York by Lane and Scott, 1850. More recent editions may be purchased from


This page updated 01/29/2007

Copyright (C) 1999,2003,2006,2007 Robert C. Denig. All rights reserved