Jesus and Abundant Life

 

 

 

A Bible Study of the Gospel of John

 

 

 

Jesus’ Personally: The Helper – Part 2: Relationships - John 15

 

 

 

In John 12 we saw the balance of Jesus; through triumph and trial He remained true to His mission and God’s word. In John 13 we saw the humility and servant’s heart of Jesus and His call to live out a “new commandment” to love like He loves. In John 14 Jesus introduced His disciples to the One who would help them when their hearts were troubled and to live out His love and ministry; the Helper, the Holy Spirit. A review of John 14 reveals the following help the Holy Spirit provides:

 

  1. The Holy Spirit helps us when our heart is troubled – 14:1a

  2. The Holy Spirit helps us believe in Jesus – 14:1b

  3. The Holy Spirit helps us look to our heavenly prospects in times of trouble – 14:2-3a

  4. The Holy Spirit helps us remember that Jesus will return for us – 14:3b

  5. The Holy Spirit helps us know that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life – 14:6

  6. The Holy Spirit helps us know Jesus and the Father – 14:7-11

  7. The Holy Spirit helps us do the “greater” works of Jesus – 14:12

  8. The Holy Spirit helps us pray – 14:13-14, 16a

  9. The Holy Spirit helps us love Jesus and keep His commandments – 14:15

  10. The Holy Spirit helps us by abiding with us forever – 14:16b, 18

  11. The Holy Spirit helps us by being the Spirit of truth – 14:17a

  12. The Holy Spirit helps us come to Jesus by being “with” us prior to being born again – 14:17b

  13. The Holy Spirit helps us by indwelling us at our born again conversion – 14:17c

  14. The Holy Spirit helps us by giving us life based on the resurrected Jesus– 14:19

  15. The Holy Spirit helps us by being the indwelling presence of Jesus in us – 14:20

  16. The Holy Spirit helps us express our love for Jesus through obedience – 14:21

  17. The Holy Spirit helps us by manifesting the love of the Father and Jesus to us – 14:22

  18. The Holy Spirit helps us express our love for Jesus by keeping His word – 14:23a

  19. The Holy Spirit helps us by making The Father and Jesus at home in us – 14:23b

  20. The Holy Spirit helps us by teaching us all things and bringing Jesus’ teachings to our remembrance – 14:26

  21. The Holy Spirit helps us by giving Jesus peace to us that calms our troubled heart – 14:27

  22. The Holy Spirit helps us believe in Jesus through prophecy (i.e. “I have told you before it comes”) – 14:29

  23. The Holy Spirit helps us to distinguish between what is of Satan and what is of Jesus – 14:30

  24. The Holy Spirit helps us by helping the world know the love of the Jesus for His Father -  14:31

 

The context of John 15 continues to be the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. What we see Jesus teach about in John 15 is what the Holy Spirit will help us implement. In John 15 Jesus speaks about relationships. This chapter can be divided as follows:

 

  1. The Holy Spirit helps in our relationship with Jesus – 15:1-11

  2. The Holy Spirit helps in our relationship with other believers – 15:12-17

  3. The Holy Spirit helps in our relationship with the world – 15:18-25

  4. The Holy Spirit helps us as the Promise of the Father – 15:26-27

 

The Helper, the Holy Spirit, is the One who helps us in our relationships.

 

John 15 (NKJV)

 

The Helper helps us in our relationship with Jesus.  

 

In John 14 Jesus introduced the Helper to his trouble hearted disciples. They were troubled that He was leaving them. But Jesus was also preparing them for the trouble that lay ahead for them personally.

 

The last words of Jesus in John 14 are “Arise, let us go from here” (John 14:31b). Therefore, John 15 contains a conversation of Jesus with His disciples as they leave the upper room and travel through the streets of Jerusalem to the Garden of Gethsemane. Remember, it is the Passover. That means it there was a full moon that lit up the night. They would have travelled by the Temple which had vine’s engraved on the doors of the structure because the vine was a symbol of Israel (cf. Isaiah 5; Ezekiel 19; Psalm 80). This may have been what moved Jesus to speak of Himself as “the true vine.”

 

 “I am the true vine,

 

This is the eighth “I am” statement of Jesus. The disciples would soon be barred from the Temple and experience persecution. Jesus is encouraging them that all they need, no matter what lay ahead, was to hang on to Him.

 

and My Father is the vinedresser.

 

Jesus is the vine from which branches get their life. Jesus will now use the illustration of a vine and its branches and the vinedresser to illustrate His relationship with His followers.

 

Jesus is “the true vine.” As the “true vine” He is the source of eternal spiritual life. He is also, as the vine, is a picture of the church; His body. It is only by our attachment to Jesus the vine that we can experience eternal life.

 

The Father is the “vinedresser.” The Father is the One who cares for the vine and makes sure it is healthy. Sometimes a branch laden with fruit is so heavy it is bent down almost to the point of breaking. The vinedresser then provides a support for the branch so that it won’t break. A vinedresser breaks off dead leaves and removes harmful insects that eat away at the branch. A vinedresser keeps a watchful eye on the vine and its branches and provides loving care so it will produce a good harvest of fruit.

 

Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

 

A branch must be fruitful and growing. We are the branches. A branch is attached to the vine and becomes a part of the vine. The Father is the One who dresses the vine; who makes sure the vine is healthy and that those branches attached to the vine are fruitful. Unfruitful branches are dead. A vine that is not producing fruit prevents the vine from growing and producing properly. A dead branch is removed or pruned so that a healthy fruit producing branch can grow into its place and the vine can produce a harvest.

 

You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

 

A branch needs regular washing provided by God’s word. Here Jesus speaks of the importance of the His word to the health of the branches. Branches are endangered by insects and pollutants. Such things need to be washed off the branch if it is to remain healthy. Vines need watering for nutrients as well as for cleansing. Fruit needs cleaning before it can be eaten. Jesus tells us the health of a branch is dependent on the washing of the water of the word of God (cf. also Eph. 5:26).

 

We need to be regularly in God’s word to protect us from contaminants that would infect us and deter our spiritual growth. If we want to be clean and fruitful, we need to be washed regularly in the word of God.

 

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

 

We need to “abide” in Jesus if we are to be fruitful. Jesus illustrates what He means by “abide” (Greek meno to stay in a given place, to continue in, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, and tarry) with the reference to the vine and its branches. The idea is to be at home with. Jesus is saying therefore, “Stay close to Me; make your abode with Me.”

 

A branch abides in the vine in that it is attached to it and gets its nourishment from it. A branch also reproduces according to the nature of the vine to which it is attached. A healthy branch reproduces. We can also say that the vine holds onto the branches. It is from the vine that the branch is produced. There is an attachment to Jesus the follower has. But there is also an attachment Jesus says He has to us. The only way we can be fruitful followers of Jesus is through our abiding attachment to Jesus.

 

Jesus is speaking about relationship. And it is the Helper, the Holy Spirit who attaches or helps us to abide to Jesus in relationship. Our abiding relationship with Jesus is one where we walk with Him, talk with Him, and regularly consult Him throughout our day and our lives. It is only through this living Holy Spirit produced relationship with Jesus that we can grow in our faith and be fruitful. 

 

And Jesus has referred to “My word.” We abide in Jesus as we regularly meet with Him in devotions prayerfully taking in His word. We abide in Jesus as we get our reproductive DNA. We abide in Jesus as we are nourished from our attachment to Him. We abide in Jesus as through the Holy Spirit we remain in an ongoing conversation with Jesus throughout the day.

 

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit;

 

 

 

We can’t do anything without Jesus. A branch removed from the vine dies. Nothing of eternal worth or significance can be accomplished without Jesus. We abide in Jesus and become fruitful in and through Him as we consult Him in prayer, obey His word, and then give Him glory for fruitful results.

 

 

 

What “fruit” are we to bear? What are we to be producing in our lives as we abide in Jesus? The Bible defines fruit as:

 

 

 

  1. Winning souls – John 4:27-38

  2. Fellowship – Romans 1:13

  3. Living a holy life – Romans 6:22

  4. Giving – Romans 15:28

  5. Serving and helping others practically – Colossians 1:6, 10

  6. Praising and worshipping God – Hebrews 13:15

  7. Love – Galatians 5:22

 

 

 

The fruitful Christian life therefore involves efforts to lead others to Christ as Savior, healthy fellowship and intentional interaction with other believers, living a holy scripturally sound life, worshipping God by giving, serving and helping others practically, worshipping God with your lips, and in all things loving God and loving others. And all of this is birthed as we abide in Jesus with the help of the Holy Spirit.

 

 

 

Jon Courson makes the following statement on abiding in Jesus and bearing fruit:

 

 

 

I like this! In the beginning of verse 2, there was no fruit. In the middle of verse 2, there was fruit. At the end of verse 2 there was more fruit. And here in verse 5, there is much fruit! How is “much fruit” produced? By abiding. I have an apple tree in my backyard that bears prolifically. Suppose I brought in a branch from this apple tree and said, “Hey, gang, this tree produces so much fruit that we’re going to set this branch right here. In April it’ll start blossoming, and a couple months later we’ll have all kinds of apples right here in the sanctuary.”

 

 

 

“That’s crazy,” you’d say. “The branch has to be linked to the trunk. Otherwise, there’s no way fruit will be produced on that limb.”

 

 

 

And that’s what Jesus is getting at. We might know how we should behave and what we should do—but if we’re cut off from the Lord, if we’re distanced from the Lord, there won’t be any fruit. We need to be in His presence daily, in His Word continually. If not, we’ll cut off the flow of sap that would have produced fruit for His pleasure and rewards in eternity. If there’s a lack of fruit in our lives, we mustn’t say, “I can’t understand why there’s not more fruit coming my way”—because an irrefutable fact of spiritual life is that every man, every woman is only as close to the Lord as he or she chooses to be. And if you choose to abide in Him, to intertwine your life with His, to wrap yourself around Him and stay close to Him, you will inevitably bring forth much fruit.

 

 

 

How is fruit produced? By abiding—not struggling, not striving. The apple tree in my backyard is interesting. As I’ve watched it for many years, I have never once observed it struggling, complaining or groaning to bear apples. I’ve never in my whole life seen branches struggling or straining to produce fruit. Yet I have seen Christians, myself included, struggling and straining to control temper or change character. But it never works in the long haul because sooner or later (usually sooner), the old character will emerge and dominate once more. The only way you can really bear fruit—which is love defined by joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, and faith; the only way you really bear fruit—which is boldness in witnessing, sincere expression of praise, and generous giving—is just to abide in Christ. What does the apple branch do? It just hangs in there day after week after month after year. And in due season, the blossoms come and the apples appear, and there’s fruit—all because it just hangs in there. So, too, you hang in there with the Lord, and as the days turn into weeks, months, and years, you will see fruit and then more fruit and then much fruit.[1]

 

 

 

for without Me you can do nothing.

 

 

 

That done without Jesus has no eternal value. Just as that done without love has no eternal value (1 Corinthians 13:1-3), that done without Jesus has no eternal value. Something done in Jesus’ name means it is done for Jesus glory and the way Jesus would do it. If you leave Jesus out of the equation, what you do is worthless.

 

 

 

If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

 

 

 

Abiding in Jesus is essential to spiritual life. Those who don’t abide in Jesus, who choose to walk an alternative route to heaven other than Jesus, those people wither spiritually. “Wither” (Greek xeraino) means to shrivel up, to dry up, pine away, be past ripening. There is no spiritual life apart from Jesus.

 

 

 

If you’re feeling spiritually dry or shriveled up, maybe it’s because in some way you’re not abiding in Jesus. But there are those who never abide in Jesus. Those will be removed and cast out into the fire; a symbol of eternal fire (cf. Rev. 20).

 

 

 

But there are also times of “the dark night of the soul.” There are times when we become dry or feel distant from God simply because of our humanness. These are times when the Lord allows a darkness and distance between the believer and Him in order to build our faith and better appreciate His presence when we do enjoy it. The dark night helps us not take God’s presence for granted. The dark night provides an opportunity for our faith to be built not on feeling but simply on the word of God and trusting in His faithfulness; who He is.

 

 

 

How do we know whether or not we have distanced ourselves from abiding in God or are simply experiencing a dark night of the soul? Only through walking in the Spirit and meditating on His word can we discern what we are going through.

 

 

 

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

 

 

 

Abiding in Jesus and His word is the key to fruitful prayers. Abiding in Jesus and His word is the condition for having right desires and for those desires to be fulfilled by Jesus.

 

 

 

Jesus wants His word to abide in us. But where does He want them to abide in us? Not merely our head but in our heart. Salvation is in the heart and our heart is where His words need to abide because our mind are only cool and calculating, but our heart gets a passionate grip on things.

 

 

 

There is a big difference between understanding Jesus with your head and holding on to Him with your heart. Our mind changes its view on things repeatedly. But the heart holds on. Ever date someone you knew wasn’t right for you or that wasn’t good for you? You may have known in your head that the person wasn’t the Lord’s will for you or was not right for you, but it was still hard to break up because the heart holds onto things; onto people.

 

 

 

It is in the heart that God works: “Thy word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not win against You” (Psalm 119:11). “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Romans 10:9). “That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Eph. 3:17). Jesus wants us to abide with Him with our heart; He wants us to take His word into our heart, because the heart is where we hold onto things, onto people, onto Him. The heart is the instrument of abiding.

 

 

 

The word of God and our relationship with Jesus abide in our heart as we prayerfully meditate and contemplate the word and Jesus. As we use our minds to think about the word and Jesus the word and Jesus slowly sink deeper into us and get planted in our heart. Make Jesus the focus of your thinking and He will soon become your abiding Lord. Focus on, memorize and study the word of God and it will soon be embedded in your heart in an abiding way.

 

 

 

When Jesus and His words are abiding in us our prayers will be right on target and we can ask and receive freely.

 

 

 

By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

 

 

 

Fruitful disciples glorify God. Examples of fruitfulness would be sharing Jesus with other, winning souls, making disciples, sharing His word with others, and living in the love of Jesus; being a disciple. When we do that we bring glory to God. This is a work of the Spirit.

 

 

 

A “disciple” (Greek mathetes) is a pupil, a learner, a student. By referring to His followers as disciples Jesus is implying there is learning involved in following Him. A disciple lives a vibrant alive life of growing in their abiding relationship with Jesus. And all of this begins when one is born again by the Holy Spirit; the Helper (cf. John 3). 

 

 

 

“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

 

 

 

Disciples of Jesus abide in His love. Jesus again emphasizes the Father’s love for Him and His love for His disciples. And He then He says “abide in My love.” “Love” (Greek agapeo) means to welcome, to love dearly, to love socially and morally. Love as Jesus loved is to love in a self-giving way. Disciples of Jesus stay attached to and live in the love Jesus modeled to them.

 

 

 

10 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.

 

 

 

We abide in Jesus’ love through obeying His word. Jesus modeled obedient love through His obedience to the Father. Jesus’ disciples must now follow in His steps by obeying His words as the expression of their love to Him. There is no love without obedience.

 

 

 

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

 

 

 

All of this produces joy in the disciple of Jesus. Joy” (Greek chara) refers to cheerfulness, calm delight, a settled assurance based on faith in Jesus that He is in control. When we express our love through obedience to Jesus’ word and are fruitful in the process, it leads to us having a joyful settled assurance in life. The one who trusts in Jesus and abides in Him by the Holy Spirit is the one who will have a settled not rattled outlook on life.

 

The Helper helps with our relationship with fellow believers.  

 

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

 

Disciples love one another as Jesus has loved them. There is no such thing as a disciple of Jesus who does not love. A person may claim to be a disciple of Jesus, but if they aren’t loving and growing in love they are making false claims. To abide in Jesus’ word is to abide in His love.

 

Jesus commands that we love. We decide whether to obey or not. Love is an action to take. Love is a matter of faith that works. Love is not a mere feeling. We don’t love or not love based on what we feel. Love is an action to be done in faith. We love regardless of whether or not we feel like it.

 

Feelings follow acts of faith. If we only acted on our feelings we would do a lot of wrong sinful things and probably neglect what is good and holy and loving. If we only loved those we felt like loving we’d probably not love as many people as God would have us love. But here’s the thing, feelings follow acts of faith. When we take a step of faith and love because Jesus us commands us to love, the feelings usually follow. If a couple has supposedly fallen out of love with each other, if they take a step of faith and act lovingly toward each other their feelings of love for one another will be rekindled. So next time you don’t feel like acting in love just remember, Jesus commands us to love; love is not an option; love is an action commanded for us by Jesus.

 

 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

 

The greatest and most accurate expression of Jesus’ love is in laying down our life for others. Greater” (Greek meizon) means larger, matured, and stronger. Love is mature and full when we lay our life down for others. Love by nature is counter to the flesh which is consumed with serving self. If the greatest love is defined and expressed by laying down one’s life for others, then the cross of Christ is the greatest expression of God’s love for us in eternity.

 

One commentator states:

 

An entire nation was revived when John Knox prayed, “Lord, give me Scotland, or I die.” But what many people don’t know is what Knox wrote concerning the answer to that prayer. The Lord responded in his heart, saying, “First die, then I’ll give you Scotland.”

 

 

 

“Make this relationship work, or I’m going to die,” we pray.

 

“Die first,” the Lord says.

 

Lay down your life for your wife, your neighbor, your friend. That is not only the proof of your love, but the pathway to love, because love is not some feeling you hope returns, not some kind of elusive mystical emotion. It’s the decision to die to your dreams, your desires, your needs, and your wants and instead lay down your life for your friend, your husband, your neighbor, or your kids.[2]

 

 

 

14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

 

You can’t claim friendship with Jesus and then disobey our live counter to all He represents. Two can’t walk together unless they are agreed (e.g. Amos 3:3). “Friends” (Greek philos) are people we are actively fond and associate with in order to wish them well and support their welfare. A friend is someone who encourages another to attain their best. A friend is one who desires God’s best for another. In that case, Jesus is our best friend; He is always looking out for our best interests.

 

Is Jesus your Friend? Jesus said the disciples were His friends. They were flawed in many ways and yet Jesus befriended them. We are flawed in many ways, and yet Jesus befriends us. Jesus doesn’t call us friends because we are smart or part of the “in” crowd. He befriends us because He likes us, He loves us. He enjoys us. We are a pleasure to Him. Have you befriended Jesus?

 

15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

 

There is a relationship with Jesus that is greater than a servant relationship. We are called to be servants of Jesus. Jesus modeled service to us (cf. John 13). But Jesus is speaking about a relationship with Him that is greater than a servant relationship; a friendship.

 

Servants” (Greek doulos) are a slave, one in subjection to, bound to another. Jesus points out that He doesn’t look at His disciples as merely hired hands to be ordered around. Jesus partners with us in friendship. A servant is someone the Master says, “Go do this for me” to. But a friend is someone Jesus says, “Come on, let’s do this together” to.

 

Therefore we minister with Jesus and we minister together with Jesus too. We all abide together in Jesus the Vine. As we abide in Jesus together we are brought together as friends.

 

A “servant does not know what his master is doing.” Servants simply obey at their master’s instructions. But a friend is someone who is clued into the why of what they are doing. As “friends” of Jesus, He gives us insight into ministry and our working with Him in life. Jesus doesn’t just command us to do things without giving us some sense of “why” He is asking us to do it. True ministry is done with Jesus. True ministry flows out of our informed friendship with Jesus.

 

As friends of Jesus we are given insight into the purposes of what He calls us to do. That doesn’t mean we will have all the answers and information in all our ministry situations. It does mean that Jesus will be with us as we minister, directing us along the way. We are co-laborers with Christ (cf. 1 Cor. 3:9).

 

16 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 the Father in My name He may give you.

 

Jesus chooses us.  Jesus “chose” (Greek eklegomai to select, choose, make a choice) the disciples. They didn’t choose Jesus. Jesus walked by them and called to them to follow and they chose to respond to His call by following. Jesus initiated their lives as disciples. The fishermen, tax collector and others were all busy with their daily work and lives. But Jesus took the initiative to break into their lives and invite them to follow Him. And they chose to answer that call and respond to follow Him.  Jesus calls us to follow Him. Will you follow Him?

 

Jesus appoints us. He “appointed” (Greek tithemi advise, appoint, commit to, conceive, lay down, ordain, set at a purpose, sink down) them to be apostles (i.e. sent ones). Jesus appointed the twelve and then seventy other disciples to go out into ministry. Of the general population of His followers he called or appointed twelve to be leaders. Of the twelve it appears peter, James, and John were then appointed to be three who were with Jesus on particular situations (e.g. transfiguration; Gethsemane). To be appointed is apparently to be selected for a task or position. When Jesus chooses and calls you to follow Him, will you then obey and do what he appoints you to do?

 

Jesus’ purpose of choosing and appointing us is to bear lasting fruit.  Jesus chooses and appoints disciples to bear lasting fruit. Fruit is lasting that is reproducing and eternal in nature (e.g. souls saved, disciples made).

 

Our lifeline to bearing lasting fruit is prayer. Jesus says the ones He chooses and appoints for the purpose of bearing lasting fruit are also those who “ask the Father in My name” – that is prayer. Lasting fruit is a product of prayerful dependence on the Father in the name of Jesus.

 

That which is done “in My name” is done as Jesus would do it. When we do something in Jesus’ name it must take on the nature of the One named; Jesus. Jesus didn’t cut corners or bend the rules. Jesus was without sin and righteous. That is how that done in His name should and must be done.

 

If I write a check for a million dollars and sign my name it wouldn’t be worth the paper it was written on. But if I present a check for a million dollars on it and it is signed by Donald Trump, that check is worth something. Similarly when we present a check to God in prayer and it bears Jesus ‘ name in its intent, purpose and request, that check is worth something. Ask in Jesus’ name and your request will be granted.

 

We should also mention that it is the Holy Spirit who helps us in this prayer life (Rom. 8:26-27).

 

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

 

Ministry done in Jesus’ name is done in and through love. Again Jesus emphasizes that in all our work with other disciples and all our work done period, it must be done in Jesus’ love.

 

The Helper helps us in our relationships with unbelievers.  

 

18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

 

We should not be surprised if the world rejects and hates us. The world hated Jesus and ultimately cooperated in His crucifixion. Because we are not of the world anymore once we turn from our sin to follow Jesus as His disciples, we can expect that the world will hate us like it hates Jesus.

 

The world loves its own. If the world loves you, maybe you’re too close to being of it instead of being of Jesus. If you fit right into the world you’re probably too close to it. Jesus chooses us “out of” the world. That doesn’t mean we no longer interact with the world. It does mean that while we still live in the world we are not like the world; we no longer have the same interests and priorities of those in the fallen world. Does the world love you? Do you love the world?

 

 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant 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. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

 

The response of the world to us that we can expect is that it will treat us like it treated Jesus. How do we know we have the right relationship with the world? We have the right relationship with the world when we see it treating us like it treated Jesus. Does the world persecute you like it did Jesus? Does the world keep your word like it kept Jesus’ word? Does the world know the Father?

 

22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’

 

The world is without excuse. Jesus spoke a clear message to the world. He did mighty works that testified of who He was and is. But the world turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to Jesus and instead hates Him. Because of this the world of the lost is without excuse. No one will have an excuse for not following Jesus when they stand before God on Judgment Day. Jesus response to those attempting to excuse themselves will be “They hated Me without a cause.”

 

The Helper is the fulfillment of the Father’s promise.  

 

26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.

 

Jesus is speaking of Pentecost here when he says, “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father.” The ministry of the Spirit in and through the follower of Jesus is essential to experiencing all that Jesus is speaking about here. That is why at the end of the gospels Jesus instructs His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they are empowered by the Spirit who will come upon them (e.g. Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4-5, 8).

 

The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of truth.” Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44). The Holy Spirit is the revealer and illuminator of truth. When you want to know the truth about something seek the illumination of the Spirit. God’s word is inspired by the Holy Spirit and is filled with truth (John 17:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17).

 

The Holy Spirit “He will testify of Me.” The Holy Spirit doesn’t bring attention to Himself; he shines the light on Jesus. The Holy Spirit works in the background. He always directs people toward Jesus. You know the Spirit is in a work when Jesus is exalted and lifted up. You know the Spirit is working in and through you when “you also will bear witness” of Jesus.

 

All of what we see Jesus sharing in this chapter is a work of the Holy Spirit in and through His disciples. We can summarize the ministry of the Helping Holy Spirit in our lives as:

 

  1. The Holy Spirit helps us abide in Christ - 15:1, 4

  2. The Holy Spirit helps us keep clean with the word of God – 15:3

  3. The Holy Spirit helps us bear fruit – 15:4, 5

  4. The Holy Spirit helps keep us from the fires of judgment – 15:6

  5. The Holy Spirit helps us abide in Jesus and His word – 15:7a

  6. The Holy Spirit helps us pray – 15:7b

  7. The Holy Spirit helps us glorify God – 15:8

  8. The Holy Spirit helps us abide in Jesus’ love – 15:9

  9. The Holy Spirit helps us keep Jesus’ commandments of love – 15:10

  10. The Holy Spirit helps us be joyful – 15:11

  11. The Holy Spirit helps us love as Jesus loved – 15:12

  12. The Holy Spirit helps us live the greatest love of self-giving – 15:13

  13. The Holy Spirit helps us be friends with Jesus – 15:14-15

  14. The Holy Spirit helps us fulfill Jesus calling and appointment in our lives – 15:16-17

  15. The Holy Spirit helps us put up with the hatred of the world toward us – 15:18-25

  16. The Holy Spirit helps us remain in the world but not of the world – 15:19

  17. The Holy Spirit helps us remember God’s word – 15:20

  18. The Holy Spirit helps us know the truth – 15:26a

  19. The Holy Spirit helps us know Jesus because he testifies or relates Jesus to us – 15:26b

  20. The Holy Spirit helps us witness of Jesus – 15:27

 

Is the Holy Spirit in you? Is the Holy Spirit helping you? Are you relying on the Holy Spirit’s help?

 



[1] Courson, J. (2003). Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (p. 564). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[2] Courson, J. (2003). Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (p. 566). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.