According to John 15:1-27

15  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the cultivator.  He takes away every branch in me not bearing fruit, and he cleans every one bearing fruit, so that it may bear more fruit.+  You are already clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.+  Remain in union with me, and I will remain in union with you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you unless you remain in union with me.+  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever remains in union with me and I in union with him, this one bears much fruit;+ for apart from me you can do* nothing at all.  If anyone does not remain in union with me, he is thrown out like a branch and dries up. And men gather those branches and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.+  If you remain in union with me and my sayings remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will take place for you.+  My Father is glorified in this, that you keep bearing much fruit and prove yourselves my disciples.+  Just as the Father has loved me,+ so I have loved you; remain in my love. 10  If you observe my commandments, you will remain in my love,+ just as I have observed the commandments of the Father and remain in his love.+ 11  “These things I have spoken to you, so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be made full.+ 12  This is my commandment, that you love one another just as I have loved you.+ 13  No one has love greater than this, that someone should surrender his life in behalf of his friends.+ 14  You are my friends if you do what I am commanding you.+ 15  I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master does. But I have called you friends, because I have made known to you all the things I have heard from my Father. 16  You did not choose me, but I chose you, and I appointed you to go and keep bearing fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that no matter what you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you.+ 17  “These things I command you, that you love one another.+ 18  If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you.+ 19  If you were part of the world, the world would be fond of what is its own. Now because you are no part of the world,+ but I have chosen you out of the world, for this reason the world hates you.+ 20  Keep in mind the word I said to you: A slave is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you;+ if they have observed my word, they will also observe yours. 21  But they will do all these things against you on account of my name, because they do not know the One who sent me.+ 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  Whoever hates me also hates my Father.+ 24  If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would have no sin;+ but now they have both seen me and hated me as well as my Father. 25  But this happened in order to fulfill the word written in their Law: ‘They hated me without cause.’+ 26  When the helper comes that I will send you from the Father, the spirit of the truth,+ which comes from the Father, that one will bear witness about me;+ 27  and you, in turn, are to bear witness,+ because you have been with me from the beginning.

Footnotes

Or “produce.”

Study Notes

I am the true vine: Jesus’ metaphor resembles word pictures found in the Hebrew Scriptures. In Isaiah’s prophecy, “the house of Israel” is called “the vineyard of Jehovah of armies.” (Isa 5:1-7) Jehovah also referred to unfaithful Israel as “the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine” and as “a degenerate vine.” (Jer 2:21; Ho 10:1, 2) But unlike that disloyal nation, Jesus is “the true vine,” and his Father, the cultivator. After likening his disciples to “branches” of the vine, he urged them to remain in union with him. Just as branches of a literal vine must remain attached to the trunk in order to remain alive and fruitful, the disciples need to remain in union with Jesus to be spiritually alive and productive. The illustration also shows that just as a cultivator expects a vine to produce fruit, Jehovah expects those in union with Christ to produce spiritual fruitage. This illustration emphasizes the unity that exists not only between Jesus’ true followers and Jesus but also between the disciples and Jesus’ Father.​—Joh 15:2-8.

cleans: Or “prunes.” The Greek word here rendered “cleans” is a verb form of the Greek word rendered “clean” at Joh 15:3.

life: Or “soul.” The meaning of the Greek word psy·kheʹ, traditionally rendered “soul,” has to be determined by the context. Here it refers to a person’s life.​—See Glossary, “Soul.”

I no longer call you slaves: The Greek term for “a slave,” douʹlos, is generally used with reference to individuals owned by fellow men. (Mt 8:9; 10:24, 25; 13:27) It is also used figuratively to refer to devoted servants of God and of his Son, Jesus Christ, whether human (Ac 2:18; 4:29; Ro 1:1; Ga 1:10) or angelic (Re 19:10, where the word synʹdou·los [fellow slave] appears). In another figurative usage, the term applies to people in slavery to sin (Joh 8:34; Ro 6:16-20) or to corruption (2Pe 2:19). When Jesus sacrificed his perfect life, he used the value of that blood to buy the lives of all those who follow him. As a result, Christians do not belong to themselves but are “Christ’s slaves.” (Eph 6:6; 1Co 6:19, 20; 7:23; Ga 3:13) Although Jesus called the apostles his friends, by redeeming them from sin, they became his slaves. At times, he used this expression to refer to his followers.​—Joh 15:20.

world: In this context, the Greek word koʹsmos refers to the world of mankind apart from God’s servants, the unrighteous human society alienated from God. John is the only Gospel writer to quote Jesus as saying that his followers are no part of the world or do not belong to the world. The same thought is expressed two more times in Jesus’ last prayer with his faithful apostles.​—Joh 17:14, 16.

name: The personal name of God, represented by the four Hebrew letters יהוה (YHWH) and commonly rendered “Jehovah” in English. In the New World Translation, the name occurs 6,979 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. (For information on the use of the divine name in the Christian Greek Scriptures, see App. A5 and App. C.) In the Bible, the term “name” at times also stands for the person himself, his reputation, and all that he declares himself to be.​—Compare Ex 34:5, 6; Re 3:4, ftn.

on account of my name: In the Bible, the term “name” at times stands for the person who bears the name, his reputation, and all that he represents. (See study note on Mt 6:9.) In the case of Jesus’ name, it also stands for the authority and position that his Father has given him. (Mt 28:18; Php 2:9, 10; Heb 1:3, 4) Jesus here explains why people of the world would do things against his followers: because they do not know the One who sent him. Knowing God would help them to understand and acknowledge what Jesus’ name stands for. (Ac 4:12) This would include Jesus’ position as God’s appointed Ruler, the King of kings, to whom all people should bow in submission in order to gain life.​—Joh 17:3; Re 19:11-16; compare Ps 2:7-12.

in their Law: Here referring to the entire Hebrew Scriptures. The quote that follows is taken from Ps 35:19; 69:4. “Law” is used in the same sense at Joh 10:34; 12:34.

helper: Or “comforter; encourager; advocate.” The word rendered “helper” (pa·raʹkle·tos) is used in the Bible to describe the roles of both the holy spirit (Joh 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) and Jesus (1Jo 2:1). It could literally be rendered “one called to someone’s side” to give help. When Jesus spoke of the holy spirit, an impersonal force, as a helper and referred to this helper as ‘teaching,’ ‘bearing witness,’ ‘giving evidence,’ ‘guiding,’ ‘speaking,’ ‘hearing,’ and ‘receiving’ (Joh 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15), he used a figure of speech called personification, that is, referring to something impersonal or inanimate as if it were alive. In the Scriptures, it is not unusual for something that is not actually a person to be personified. Some examples are wisdom, death, sin, and undeserved kindness. (Mt 11:19; Lu 7:35; Ro 5:14, 17, 21; 6:12; 7:8-11) It is obvious that not one of these things is an actual person. God’s spirit is often mentioned together with other impersonal forces or things, further supporting the fact that it is not a person. (Mt 3:11; Ac 6:3, 5; 13:52; 2Co 6:4-8; Eph 5:18) Some argue that the use of Greek masculine pronouns when referring to this “helper” shows that holy spirit is a person. (Joh 14:26) However, Greek grammar requires masculine pronouns when the activity of “the helper” is described, since the word for “helper” is in the masculine gender. (Joh 16:7, 8, 13, 14) On the other hand, when the neuter Greek word for “spirit” (pneuʹma) is used, neuter pronouns are used.​—See study note on Joh 14:17.

helper: Or “comforter; encourager; advocate.” The word rendered “helper” (pa·raʹkle·tos) is used in the Bible to describe the roles of both the holy spirit (Joh 14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7) and Jesus (1Jo 2:1). It could literally be rendered “one called to someone’s side” to give help. When Jesus spoke of the holy spirit, an impersonal force, as a helper and referred to this helper as ‘teaching,’ ‘bearing witness,’ ‘giving evidence,’ ‘guiding,’ ‘speaking,’ ‘hearing,’ and ‘receiving’ (Joh 14:26; 15:26; 16:7-15), he used a figure of speech called personification, that is, referring to something impersonal or inanimate as if it were alive. In the Scriptures, it is not unusual for something that is not actually a person to be personified. Some examples are wisdom, death, sin, and undeserved kindness. (Mt 11:19; Lu 7:35; Ro 5:14, 17, 21; 6:12; 7:8-11) It is obvious that not one of these things is an actual person. God’s spirit is often mentioned together with other impersonal forces or things, further supporting the fact that it is not a person. (Mt 3:11; Ac 6:3, 5; 13:52; 2Co 6:4-8; Eph 5:18) Some argue that the use of Greek masculine pronouns when referring to this “helper” shows that holy spirit is a person. (Joh 14:26) However, Greek grammar requires masculine pronouns when the activity of “the helper” is described, since the word for “helper” is in the masculine gender. (Joh 16:7, 8, 13, 14) On the other hand, when the neuter Greek word for “spirit” (pneuʹma) is used, neuter pronouns are used.​—See study note on Joh 14:17.

that one: Both “that one” and “he” in verses 13 and 14 refer back to “the helper” mentioned at Joh 16:7. Jesus used “the helper” (which is in the masculine gender in Greek) as a personification of the holy spirit, an impersonal force, which is in the neuter gender in Greek.​—See study note on Joh 14:16.

helper: See study note on Joh 14:16.

that one: The Greek demonstrative pronoun e·keiʹnos is in the masculine gender and refers to the helper, which is also in the masculine gender.​—See study notes on Joh 14:16; 16:13.

from the beginning: Or “from when I began,” that is, from when Jesus began his ministry.

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