December 09, 2002 Copyright © by United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
- 1 2 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
- He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and everyone that does he prunes 3 so that it bears more fruit.
- You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
- Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.
- I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing.
- 4 Anyone who does not remain in me will be thrown out like a branch and wither; people will gather them and throw them into a fire and they will be burned.
- If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
- By this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.
- As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love.
- If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commandments and remain in his love.
- "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
- This is my commandment: love one another as I love you.
- 5 No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends.
- You are my friends if you do what I command you.
- I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, 6 because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father.
- It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.
- This I command you: love one another.
- 7 "If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first.
- If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.
- Remember the word I spoke to you, 8 'No slave is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours.
- And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, 9 because they do not know the one who sent me.
- If I had not come and spoken 10 to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin.
- Whoever hates me also hates my Father.
- If I had not done works among them that no one else ever did, they would not have sin; but as it is, they have seen and hated both me and my Father.
- But in order that the word written in their law 11 might be fulfilled, 'They hated me without cause.'
- "When the Advocate comes whom I will send 12 you from the Father, the Spirit of truth that proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.
- And you also testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.
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1 [15:1-16:4] Discourse on the union of Jesus with his disciples. His words become a monologue and go beyond the immediate crisis of the departure of Jesus.
2 [1-17] Like John 10:1-5, this passage resembles a parable. Israel is spoken of as a vineyard at Isaiah 5:1-7; Matthew 21:33-46 and as a vine at Psalm 80:9-17; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 15:2; 17:5-10; 19:10; Hosea 10:1. The identification of the vine as the Son of Man in Psalm 80:15 and Wisdom's description of herself as a vine in Sirach 24:17 are further background for portrayal of Jesus by this figure. There may be secondary eucharistic symbolism here; cf Mark 14:25 "the fruit of the vine."
3  Takes away . . . prunes: in Greek there is a play on two related verbs.
4  Branches were cut off and dried on the wall of the vineyard for later use as fuel.
5  For one's friends: or: "those whom one loves." In John 15:9-13a, the words for love are related to the Greek agapao. In John 15:13b-15, the words for love are related to the Greek phileo. For John, the two roots seem synonymous and mean "to love"; cf also John 21:15-17. The word philos is used here.
6  Slaves . . . friends: in the Old Testament, Moses (Deut 34:5), Joshua (Joshua 24:29), and David (Psalm 89:21) were called "servants" or "slaves of Yahweh"; only Abraham (Isaiah 41:8; 2 Chron 20:7; cf James 2:23) was called a "friend of God."
7 [15:18-16:4] The hostile reaction of the world. There are synoptic parallels, predicting persecution, especially at Matthew 10:17-25; 24:9-10.
8  The word I spoke to you: a reference to John 13:16.
9  On account of my name: the idea of persecution for Jesus' name is frequent in the New Testament (Matthew 10:22; 24:9; Acts 9:14). For John, association with Jesus' name implies union with Jesus.
10 [22,24] Jesus' words (spoken) and deeds )works) are the great motives of credibility. They have seen and hated: probably means that they have seen his works and still have hated; but the Greek can be read: "have seen both me and my Father and still have hated both me and my Father." Works . . . that no one else ever did: so Yahweh in Deut 4:32-33.
11  In their law: law is here used as a larger concept than the Pentateuch, for the reference is to Psalm 35:19 or Psalm 69:5. See the notes on John 10:34; 12:34. Their law reflects the argument of the church with the synagogue.
12  Whom I will send: in John 14:16, 26 the Paraclete is to be sent by the Father, at the request of Jesus. Here the Spirit comes from both Jesus and the Father in mission; there is no reference here to the eternal procession of the Spirit.
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