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Chapter 15

Jesus teaches the disciples that they must maintain a vital connection with him in order to bear spiritual fruit (15:1-17).

"I am the real vine, and my Father is the vine grower. He trims every branch that bears fruit, so it will produce even more; but every branch that bears no fruit, he cuts off. You have already been trimmed by the words I have spoken to you.

"It is crucial that you remain in me and I in you. No branch can bear fruit if it is cut off from the vine.It's the same with you – you an bear no fruit unless you remain in me.

"I am the vine and you are the branches. Only if you remain in me and I in you, will you be able to bear much fruit.

"If you do not remain in me, you can accomplish nothing. If you do not remain in me, you will be thrown aside like a withered branch. Branches like that are good for nothing but firewood.

Engraving of grapes on vine

"If you remain in me and reflect on what I have taught you, then whatever you ask for in prayer will be done for you. Would you like to bring honor to my Father? Then bear much fruit and show that you are my disciples.

"My love for you has been the same as the love my Father has for me. Remain true to that love. If you obey my commands, you will remain true to my love, just as I obey my Father's commands and remain true to his love.

"I have told you these things so that you may experience the joy that is mine. I want you to be filled with joy.

"My commandment is that you love one another just as I have loved you. The ultimate proof of a person's love is his willingness to sacrifice his life for a friend. You will prove your love for me if you do what I command. No longer will I call you servants, because a servant is in the dark about what his master is doing. Rather, I will call you friends, because I have shared with you everything my Father has told me.

"It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you. I appointed you to go and bear fruit, the kind of fruit that lasts. The Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

I give you these commands so that you may love one another."

Olive press

The disciples will face persecution in the world because they belong to Jesus and will therefore endure the same kind of hatred as their master did (15:18-27).

"When you experience the hatred of the world, keep in mind that it hated me before it hated you. If you belonged to the world, the world would love you like one of their own. But you don't belong to the world. I chose you out of the world and that is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: 'A servant is not superior to his master.' Since they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. They will respond to your teaching in the same way they responded to mine.

"The people of this world will treat youlike this because you belong to me, because they do not know the one who sent me. They would not be guilty of sin if I had not come and spoken to them. As it is, they have no excuse for their sin.

"To hate me is to hate my Father as well. If I had not performed miraculous deeds that no one else had ever done, they would not be guilty. But they were right there watching and chose to hate both me and my Father. All this happened so as to fulfill what was written in their Scriptures, 'They hated me for no reason.'

"I will send you a Helper, the Spirit of truth, who will come from the Father. When he arrives he will speak on my behalf. You too must speak on my behalf, because you have been with me from the beginning of my ministry."

Roman road in front of ancient temple