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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 15)

15:1 {The true vine} (hˆ ampelos hˆ alˆthinˆ). "The vine the genuine." Assuming that the Lord's Supper had just been instituted by Jesus the metaphor of the vine is naturally suggested by "the fruit of the vine" (Mr 14:25; Mt 26:29). Ampelos in the papyri (Moulton and Milligan's "Vocabulary") is sometimes used in the sense of "ampel“n" (vineyard), but not so here. Jesus uses various metaphors to illustrate himself and his work (the light, 8:12; the door, 10:7; the shepherd, 10:11; the vine, 15:1). The vine was common in Palestine. See Ps 80:8f. "On the Maccabean coinage Israel was represented by a vine" (Dods). Jesus is the genuine Messianic vine.
{The husbandman} (ho ge“rgos) as in Mr 12:1; Jas 5:7; 2Ti 2:6. cf. 1Co 3:9, theou ge“rgion (God's field).

15:2 {Branch} (klˆma). Old word from kla“, to break, common in LXX for offshoots of the vine, in N.T. only here (verses 2-6), elsewhere in N.T. klados (Mr 4:32, etc.), also from kla“, both words meaning tender and easily broken parts.
{In me} (en emoi). Two kinds of connexion with Christ as the vine (the merely cosmic which bears no fruit, the spiritual and vital which bears fruit). The fruitless (not bearing fruit, mˆ pheron karpon) the vine-dresser "takes away" (airei) or prunes away. Probably (Bernard) Jesus here refers to Judas.
{Cleanseth} (kathairei). Present active indicative of old verb kathair“ (clean) as in verse 3, only use in N.T., common in the inscriptions for ceremonial cleansing, though kathariz“ is more frequent (Heb 10:2).
{That it may bear more fruit} (hina karpon pleiona pherˆi). Purpose clause with hina and present active subjunctive of pher“, "that it may keep on bearing more fruit" (more and more). A good test for modern Christians and church members.

15:3 {Already ye are clean} (ˆdˆ humeis katharoi este). Potentially cleansed (Westcott) as in 13:10 which see and 17:19.

15:4 {Abide in me} (meinate en emoi). Constative aorist active imperative of men“. The only way to continue "clean" (pruned) and to bear fruit is to maintain vital spiritual connexion with Christ (the vine). Judas is gone and Satan will sift the rest of them like wheat (Lu 22:31f.). Blind complacency is a peril to the preacher.
{Of itself} (aph' heautou). As source (from itself) and apart from the vine (cf. 17:17).
{Except it abide} (ean mˆ menˆi). Condition of third class with ean, negative , and present active (keep on abiding) subjunctive of men“. Same condition and tense in the application, "except ye abide in me."

15:5 {Ye the branches} (humeis ta klˆmata). Jesus repeats and applies the metaphor of verse 1.
{Apart from me} (ch“ris emou). See Eph 2:12 for ch“ris Christou. There is nothing for a broken off branch to do but wither and die. For the cosmic relation of Christ see Joh 1:3 (ch“ris autou).

15:6 {He is cast forth} (eblˆthˆ ex“). Timeless or gnomic use of the first aorist passive indicative of ball“ as the conclusion of a third-class condition (see also verses 4,7 for the same condition, only constative aorist subjunctive meinˆte and meinˆi in verse 7). The apostles are thus vividly warned against presumption. Jesus as the vine will fulfil his part of the relation as long as the branches keep in vital union with him.
{As a branch} (h“s to klˆma).
{And is withered} (exˆranthˆ). Another timeless first aorist passive indicative, this time of xˆrain“, same timeless use in Jas 1:11 of grass, old and common verb. They gather (sunagousin). Plural though subject not expressed, the servants of the vine-dresser gather up the broken off branches.
{Are burned} (kaietai). Present passive singular of kai“, to burn, because klˆmata (branches) is neuter plural. See this vivid picture also in Mt 13:41f.,49f.

15:7 {Ask whatsoever ye will} (ho ean thelˆte aitˆsasthe). Indefinite relative with ean and present active subjunctive of thel“, to wish, to will, and aorist middle imperative of aite“, to ask. This astounding command and promise (genˆsetai, future middle of ginomai, it will come to pass) is not without conditions and limitations. It involves such intimate union and harmony with Christ that nothing will be asked out of accord with the mind of Christ and so of the Father. Christ's name is mentioned in 15:16; cf. 14:13; 16:23.

15:8 {Herein} (en tout“i). That is in the vital union and the much fruit bearing. It points here backwards and forwards.
{Is glorified} (edoxasthˆ). Another gnomic or timeless first aorist passive indicative.
{Bear} (pherete). Present active subjunctive, "keep on bearing" much fruit.
{And so shall ye be} (kai genˆsesthe). Rather "become." Future middle indicative of ginomai, though B D L read genˆsthe (after hina like pherˆte). "Become" my disciples (learners) in the fullest sense of rich fruit-bearing according to the text in

15:9 {Abide} (meinate). Constative first aorist active imperative of men“, summing up the whole.
{In my love} (en tˆi agapˆi tˆi emˆi). Subjunctive possessive pronoun, "in the love that I have for you." Our love for Christ is the result of Christ's love for us and is grounded at bottom in the Father's love for the world (3:16). John has emos 37 times and always in the words of Jesus (Bernard). But he uses mou also (verse 10).

15:10 {Ye will abide} (meneite). Future tense of men“, conclusion of the third-class condition (ean and first aorist active subjunctive tˆrˆsˆte). The correlative of 14:15. Each involves the other (love and keeping the commandments of Jesus). {And abide} (kai men“). The high example of Jesus (the Son) in relation to the Father is set before us as the goal.

15:11 {That my joy may be in you} (hina hˆ chara hˆ emˆ en humin ˆi). Purpose clause with hina and the present subjunctive ˆi (some MSS. have meinˆi, may remain), Christ's permanent absolute joy in the disciples.
{And that your joy be fulfilled} (Kai hˆ chara hum“n plˆr“thˆi). Same construction with first aorist (effective) passive subjunctive of plˆro“, consummation of the process preceding.

15:12 {That ye love one another} (hina agapƒte allˆlous). Non-final use of hina, introducing a subject clause in apposition with entolˆ (commandment) and the present active subjunctive of agapa“, "that ye keep on loving one another." See 13:34.

15:13 {Than this} (tautˆs). Ablative case after the comparative adjective meizona and feminine agreeing with tˆs agapˆs (love) understood.
{That a man lay down his life} (hina tis tˆn psuchˆn autou thˆi). Object clause (non-final use of hina in apposition with the ablative pronoun tautˆs and the second aorist active subjunctive of tithˆmi.) For the phrase see 10:11 of the good shepherd. Cf. 1Jo 3:16; Ro 5:7f.
{For his friends} (huper t“n phil“n autou). "In behalf of his friends" and so "in place of his friends." "Self-sacrifice is the high-water mark of love" (Dods). For this use of huper see Joh 11:50; Ga 3:13; 2Co 5:14f.; Ro 5:7f.

15:14 {If ye do} (ean poiˆte). Condition of third class with ean and the present active subjunctive, "if ye keep on doing," not just spasmodic obedience. Just a different way of saying what is in verse 10. Obedience to Christ's commands is a prerequisite to discipleship and fellowship (spiritual friendship with Christ). He repeats it in the Great Commission (Mt 28:20, eneteilamˆn, I commanded) with the very word used here (entellomai, I command).

15:15 {No longer} (ouketi). As he had done in 13:16. He was their Rabbi (1:38; 13:13) and Lord (13:13). Paul gloried in calling himself Christ's doulos (bond-slave).
{Servants} (doulous). Bond-servants, slaves.
{I have called you friends} (humas eirˆka philous). Perfect active indicative, permanent state of new dignity. They will prove worthy of it by continued obedience to Christ as Lord, by being good douloi. Abraham was called the Friend of God (Jas 2:23). Are we friends of Christ?

15:16 {But I chose you} (all' eg“ exelexamˆn humas). First aorist middle indicative of ekleg“. See this same verb and tense used for the choice of the disciples by Christ (6:70; 13:18; 15:19). Jesus recognizes his own responsibility in the choice after a night of prayer (Lu 6:13). So Paul was "a vessel of choice" (skeuos eklogˆs, Ac 9:15). Appointed (ethˆka). First aorist active indicative (k aorist) of tithˆmi. Note three present active subjunctives with hina (purpose clause) to emphasize continuance (hupagˆte, keep on going, pherˆte, keep on bearing fruit, menˆi, keep on abiding), not a mere spurt, but permanent growth and fruit-bearing.
{He may give} (d“i). Second aorist active subjunctive of did“mi with hina (purpose clause). Cf. 14:13 for the same purpose and promise, but with poiˆs“ (I shall do). See also 16:23f.,26.

15:17 {That ye may love one another} (hina agapƒte allˆlous). Repetition of 13:34; 15:12. This very night the disciples had been guilty of jealousy and wrangling (Lu 22:24; Joh 13:5,15).

15:18 {If the world hateth you} (ei ho kosmos humas misei). Condition of the first class. As it certainly does.
{Ye know} (gin“skete). Present active second person plural indicative of gin“sk“ or present active imperative (know), same form.
{Hath hated} (memisˆken). Perfect active indicative, "has hated and still hates."
{Before it hateth you} (pr“ton hum“n). Ablative case hum“n after the superlative pr“ton as with pr“tos mou in 1:15.

15:19 {The world would love its own} (ho kosmos an to idion ephilei). Conclusion of second-class condition (determined as unfulfilled), regular idiom with an and imperfect indicative in present time.
{But because ye are not of the world} (hoti de ek tou kosmou ouk este). Definite and specific reason for the world's hatred of real Christians whose very existence is a reproach to the sinful world. Cf. 7:7; 17:14; 1Jo 3:13. Does the world hate us? If not, why not? Has the world become more Christian or Christians more worldly?

15:20 {Remember} (mnˆmoneuete). Present active imperative of mnˆmoneu“, old verb from mnˆm“n, in John again in 16:4,21. See 13:16 for this word.
{If they persecuted me} (ei eme edi“xan). Condition of first class. They certainly did persecute (first aorist active of di“k“, to chase like a wild beast like the Latin "persequor", our "persecute") Jesus (5:16). They will persecute those like Jesus. Cf. 16:33; Mr 10:30; Lu 21:12; 1Co 4:12; 2Co 4:9; Ga 4:29; 2Ti 3:12 for proof that this prophecy came true. But the alternative is true and is stated by Jesus with a like condition of the first class, "if they kept my word" (ei ton logon mou etˆrˆsan). The world does praise the word of Jesus, but dreads to follow it.

15:21 {Unto you} (eis humas). Like the dative humin (Textus Receptus) as in the papyri and modern Greek (Robertson, "Grammar", p. 594).
{For my name's sake} (dia to onoma mou). See verse 20. See this same warning and language in Mt 10:22; Mr 13:13; Mt 24:9; Lu 21:17). There is little difference in meaning from heneken mou (Mr 13:9; Lu 21:12). Loyalty to the name of Christ will bring persecution as they will soon know (Ac 5:41; Php 1:29; 1Pe 4:14). About the world's ignorance of God see Lu 23:34; Ac 3:17; Joh 16:3.

15:22 {They had not had sin} (hamartian ouk eichosan). Conclusion of condition of second class without an because context makes it clear (nun de) without it (Robertson, "Grammar", p. 1013). The imperfect active indicative with -osan instead of -on (also in verse 24) as common in the LXX, and occurs in the papyri and the inscriptions and the Boeotian dialect.
{Excuse} (prophasin). Old word (1Th 2:5) either from prophain“, to show forth, or prophˆmi, to speak forth. Mere pretence, in John only here and verse 24.

15:23 {My Father also} (kai ton patera mou). Because Christ reveals God (14:9) and to dishonour Christ is to dishonour God (5:23). The coming of Christ has revealed the weight of sin on those who reject him.

15:24 {They have both seen and hated} (kai he“rakasin kai memisˆkasin). Perfect active indicative of hora“ and mise“, permanent attitude and responsibility. The "world" and the ecclesiastics (Sanhedrin) had united in this attitude of hostility to Christ and in reality to God.

15:25 {But this cometh to pass} (all'). Ellipsis in the Greek (no verb), as in 9:3; 13:18.
{In their law} (en t“i nom“i aut“n). Cf. 8:17; 10:34 for this standpoint. "Law" (nomos) here is for the whole of Scripture as in 12:34. The allusion is to Ps 69:4 (or Ps 35:19). The hatred of the Jews toward Jesus the promised Messiah (1:11) is "part of the mysterious purpose of God" (Bernard) as shown by hina plˆr“thˆi (first aorist passive subjunctive of plˆro“, to fulfil).
{Without a cause} (d“rean). Adverbial accusative of d“rea from did“mi, gratuitously, then unnecessarily or "gratis" (in two "Koin‚" tablets, Nageli) as here and Ga 2:21.

15:26 {When the Comforter is come} (hotan elthˆi ho paraklˆtos). Indefinite temporal clause with hotan and the second aorist active subjunctive of erchomai, "whenever the Comforter comes."
{Whom I will send unto you from the Father} (hon eg“ pemps“ humin para tou patros). As in 16:7, but in 14:16,26 the Father sends at the request of or in the name of Jesus. Cf. Lu 24:49; Ac 2:33. This is the Procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and from the Son.
{Which} (ho). Grammatical neuter to agree with pneuma, and should be rendered "who" like ho in 14:26.
{Proceedeth from the Father} (para tou patros ekporeuetai). "From beside the Father" as in the preceding clause.
{He} (ekeinos). Emphatic masculine pronoun, not neuter (ekeino) though following ho.
{Shall bear witness of me} (marturˆsei peri emou). Future active of marture“. This is the mission of the Paraclete (16:14) as it should be ours.

15:27 {And ye also bear witness} (kai humeis de martureite). Present active indicative or imperative (do ye bear witness), same form of marture“. "Ye also" as well as the Holy Spirit, ye also when filled with and taught by the Holy Spirit the things concerning Jesus. It is here that Christians fail most.
{Have been} (este). Progressive present of eimi, "are with me from the beginning of my ministry as in 14:9. They were chosen to be with Christ (Mr 3:14).

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Word Pictures in the New Testament
(John: Chapter 15)

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