In John, chapter 13, the Lord gives a wonderful example to His disciples by washing their feet. From John 13 through John 16, the Lord communes with His disciples, preparing them for life after His death, burial, resurrection and ascension back to Glory.

In John 15:1-8, the Lord speaks of the vine and the branches. In verse 1, the Lord says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.” In several places in the Old Testament, the Lord refers to Israel as a vine. Here, He insists that He is the true vine, His Father is the farmer, and His disciples are the branches. In John 13:10-11, while Judas was still in the presence of the Lord and His disciples we read, “Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.” Now, with Judas no longer in their presence, the Lord says in John 15:3, “Now ye are clean.” What a wonderful lesson for us. All those who have put their faith in the Lord Jesus are clean before the Lord. We read in 2 Corinthians 5:21, “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” In Christ, we who were once sinful, dirty, and ungodly are made clean. We are made the righteousness in of God in Christ Jesus. In this portion, the Lord also warns against ‘false believers’, or those who profess faith in Christ, but really have no substance in their profession.

John 15:9-16 speaks of the believer’s communion with Christ. The Lord declares that with the same love that the Father loved Him, so He loves us. He then directs us to continue in His love. If we obey His words from the heart, we will continue to abide in His love in a practical sense. We have this assurance in Romans 8:38-39, “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” While it is true that nothing can cause the Lord to stop loving us, we want to ‘abide’, or ‘live’ in His love. Obedience to His Word proves our love to Him, and when we walk in obedience we abide in His love.

In John 15:17-27, the Lord exhorts us to love one another. He speaks of the coming Comforter, the Holy Spirit. And, he speaks of how the world will hate us because of Him. The Lord had told His disciples in John 13:34, “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Realizing the importance of love among the brethren, the Lord says again in John 15:17, “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” May we all meditate upon this commandment of our Lord and realize that if we withhold love from our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, we are disobeying our Lord. No excuses…we are to love one another.

In John 15:18 the Lord says, “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.” The Lord warns us of the hate of the world towards those that love Him. While we should not look to be loved by the world, we do need to love the world with the love of Christ and seek to win precious souls to Him. But, to strengthen us, the Lord promises to send the Holy Spirit to teach us precious truths concerning our Lord. This chapter ends with the assurance of the Lord to those who believe in Him, who abide in His love and seek not the love of the world. He says to us in John 15:27, “And ye also shall bear witness.” What a blessed occupation…we can be witnesses for Christ in this world. (168.5)