I am sitting here struggling to find the words to describe these 2 chapters (John 15 & 16).
Throughout the years, I have heard many verses from these 2 chapters quoted in sermons and in conversations. I have quoted them to myself many times as reminders when I am struggling with sin.
But something in reading them this time struck a chord in me that I can’t explain.
For the last 2 week I have been printing off the chapters from my computer instead of reading them from one of the Bibles lying around the house or reading them from YouVersion or some other online source. I haven’t had the verses divided into nice and neat little sections with titles to explain what to expect from the following verses. I have been reading the chapters straight through one chapter at a time. Reading and rereading. Making notes on the sides about who Jesus is and about why He came.
When I came to these chapters and I started reading them with the questions that I have applied to other chapters in mind, I had to ask myself, “What am I going to write?”
Because while these chapters open up with a clear statement about whom Jesus is, these chapters are more to comfort and console us when we face suffering and condemnation. Chapter 16 especially is Christ’s words which were meant to prepare and comfort the disciples of the early church.
In John 15:1, Jesus said, “I am the true vine.” In verse 5, Jesus said that we are the branches. In verses 4-9, He gives us the command to abide in Him.
Jesus is the vine…What does that mean?
Look at a picture of a grapevine. See how the branches all spread out in different directions, but how when they all come together they form the true vine or body of the plant. It is the part that leads to the roots.
Jesus is that for us. Jesus is the part that keeps us rooted. He keeps us grounded in Him and the Father.
We are the branches, and the place where we all meet is Christ.
In these chapters, Jesus paints a portrait of what it means to abide in Him.
Jesus tells us that to abide in Him we have to keep His commandments, and His commandments are to love God and to love each other.
He tells us that when we abide in Him
1) That we will bear fruit
2) That we will be cleansed
3) That we will glorify the Father
4) Our joy will be full
5) That whatever we ask we will receive
6) That He will send us a Helper
But He also tells us that when we abide in Him we will be hated by the world. I don’t know about you, but this is something that I struggle with because I don’t want to be hated. And while I know that many of the things we face in the US seem petty compared to what Christians face in other countries, I also know that even here when we stand up for the Truth we are going to face resistance and hatred. Our lives might not be on the line yet like in Egypt and other countries, but when you abide in Christ, you can expect to be hated by the world.