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John 15

July 26, 2008

Here’s how the study works: Read the chapter mentioned in the heading several times during the week and share any words, thoughts, verses that stood out to you. Having a week for a chapter creates the opportunity to reread it several times and make additional comments as you feel inclined as well as make comments on other people’s insights.

by Susan Barnes
26

Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith

26 thoughts on “John 15”

  1. jON

    no asides this chapter as it is one long quoting of jesus, but no matter. it is good to hear jesus talk. that’s one thing i love about these few chapters here in john. an absolute wealth for those “red letter christians” out there.

    i am sure that i still don’t fully understand what he is talking about when it comes to “abiding in him.” i DO know that when god speaks and directs, that you need to go where he asks, and stay put awaiting further orders. and when you become impatient and try to make something happen on your own, or you try to move position to one of your own choosing, that you do indeed become useless as a branch and dry up.

    yet, i am not quite sure how to articulate the relation he speaks of here and how it exactly works.

    there are two things however that did indeed catch my attention this time around. one deals with a theme i have been fleshing out for a couple of years now, and this is no exception to the good stuff that pops up everywhere.

    v.22“ If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.” what a strange statement to my western theological ears. i had always grown up with the assumption that those who hadn’t heard were in a bad position as pertains to god, but this is the second time now that jesus says that those who have had no contact with him, or no knowledge of him, are not responsible for that. that they have no sin. no sin! he said that about “blind” people back in 9:41, remember? still trying to wrap my brain around this.

    the other thing that popped out was in v.26 “…the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father…” it is interesting to me that holy spirit is spoken of here as proceeding from the father. jesus does not speak of it as though it is a separate entity of independant intelligence. at least, it doesn’t read that way to me. it seems to be a part of the father’s being that flows out towards us.

    and, as always, i want to thank you susan for hosting this study. i have enjoyed going deeper into a lengthier book and studying it with someone else. if you ever wonder if it is worth it, i can only speak for one, but i definitely get alot out of this.

  2. jON

    no asides this chapter as it is one long quoting of jesus, but no matter. it is good to hear jesus talk. that’s one thing i love about these few chapters here in john. an absolute wealth for those “red letter christians” out there.

    i am sure that i still don’t fully understand what he is talking about when it comes to “abiding in him.” i DO know that when god speaks and directs, that you need to go where he asks, and stay put awaiting further orders. and when you become impatient and try to make something happen on your own, or you try to move position to one of your own choosing, that you do indeed become useless as a branch and dry up.

    yet, i am not quite sure how to articulate the relation he speaks of here and how it exactly works.

    there are two things however that did indeed catch my attention this time around. one deals with a theme i have been fleshing out for a couple of years now, and this is no exception to the good stuff that pops up everywhere.

    v.22“ If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.” what a strange statement to my western theological ears. i had always grown up with the assumption that those who hadn’t heard were in a bad position as pertains to god, but this is the second time now that jesus says that those who have had no contact with him, or no knowledge of him, are not responsible for that. that they have no sin. no sin! he said that about “blind” people back in 9:41, remember? still trying to wrap my brain around this.

    the other thing that popped out was in v.26 “…the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father…” it is interesting to me that holy spirit is spoken of here as proceeding from the father. jesus does not speak of it as though it is a separate entity of independant intelligence. at least, it doesn’t read that way to me. it seems to be a part of the father’s being that flows out towards us.

    and, as always, i want to thank you susan for hosting this study. i have enjoyed going deeper into a lengthier book and studying it with someone else. if you ever wonder if it is worth it, i can only speak for one, but i definitely get alot out of this.

  3. Thanks Jon, I get a lot out of it too.

    You have given me much food for thought. I’ll be back with some comments soon.

  4. Thanks Jon, I get a lot out of it too.

    You have given me much food for thought. I’ll be back with some comments soon.

  5. the “no sin” in v.22 is strange to my ears too.

    As I’ve thought about it Luke 12:48 came to mind: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.” Meaning that we are all accountable for what we know and if we genuinely don’t know than we are not held responsible.

    It makes me feel God is a very fair judge.

  6. the “no sin” in v.22 is strange to my ears too.

    As I’ve thought about it Luke 12:48 came to mind: “From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded.” Meaning that we are all accountable for what we know and if we genuinely don’t know than we are not held responsible.

    It makes me feel God is a very fair judge.

  7. I think, “abiding in Him” means a lot of things. For me at the moment it means giving up on my agenda/timetable and discerning His. When I am operating from a position of being submitted to His purposes I can then ask anything in His name (v.16).

  8. I think, “abiding in Him” means a lot of things. For me at the moment it means giving up on my agenda/timetable and discerning His. When I am operating from a position of being submitted to His purposes I can then ask anything in His name (v.16).

  9. v.26 “…the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father…”
    Likewise Jesus is described as God’s son – begotten not created.

    The relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit is difficult for me to get my finite mind around. I was thinking about the fact that Jesus never says, “I am God” although he claims equality with God. If Jesus had said, “I am God” it would have given us a very small idea of God.

  10. v.26 “…the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father…”
    Likewise Jesus is described as God’s son – begotten not created.

    The relationship between Father, Son and Holy Spirit is difficult for me to get my finite mind around. I was thinking about the fact that Jesus never says, “I am God” although he claims equality with God. If Jesus had said, “I am God” it would have given us a very small idea of God.

  11. jON

    very interesting stuff, this concept of trinity. we touched on it briefly in chapter 10. still strange to me that when jesus was challenged as having claimed that he was god, he points out that the scripture says we are all gods (to whom the word of god has come), so it should not be strange that the one who was chosen out of all humanity and sanctified and sent should be called son of god. (which is very different than jesus being called “god the son,” which he never is in the bible)

    we seemed to have skipped over john 14:20 in last week’s study. often jesus’ assertions that he is in the father and the father is in him are pointed to as being proof that he god. yet in that verse, he speaks of all of us (father, jesus, and disciples) as having the SAME type of unity that he does with the father…

    “begotten not created” can you elaborate on this for me a little susan? is there a difference? and how does it all reconcile with paul’s assertion that jesus is the “firstborn of all creation?” (col.1:15)

  12. jON

    very interesting stuff, this concept of trinity. we touched on it briefly in chapter 10. still strange to me that when jesus was challenged as having claimed that he was god, he points out that the scripture says we are all gods (to whom the word of god has come), so it should not be strange that the one who was chosen out of all humanity and sanctified and sent should be called son of god. (which is very different than jesus being called “god the son,” which he never is in the bible)

    we seemed to have skipped over john 14:20 in last week’s study. often jesus’ assertions that he is in the father and the father is in him are pointed to as being proof that he god. yet in that verse, he speaks of all of us (father, jesus, and disciples) as having the SAME type of unity that he does with the father…

    “begotten not created” can you elaborate on this for me a little susan? is there a difference? and how does it all reconcile with paul’s assertion that jesus is the “firstborn of all creation?” (col.1:15)

  13. Alison C

    You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus
    Galatians 3 : 26

    Special assurance!

  14. Alison C

    You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus
    Galatians 3 : 26

    Special assurance!

  15. I was thinking of Hebrews 1 where the writer explains the different between angels and Jesus. Angels are created whereas Jesus was begotten (v.5). People are also created but given the “right to become children of God” when they believe in his name (John 1:12 and also Galatians 3:26, thanks Alison). So we are God’s sons by a divine appointment whereas Jesus is God’s Son because of his fundamental nature.

    I don’t see a difficult with this and Col. 1:15. “For in him all things were created … all things have been created through him and for him.” This isn’t saying, at least not to me, that Jesus was created.

    One of my concerns regarding this matter is when I write I use Jesus, God and Lord interchangeably and wonder if I am confusing my readers by doing so.

  16. I was thinking of Hebrews 1 where the writer explains the different between angels and Jesus. Angels are created whereas Jesus was begotten (v.5). People are also created but given the “right to become children of God” when they believe in his name (John 1:12 and also Galatians 3:26, thanks Alison). So we are God’s sons by a divine appointment whereas Jesus is God’s Son because of his fundamental nature.

    I don’t see a difficult with this and Col. 1:15. “For in him all things were created … all things have been created through him and for him.” This isn’t saying, at least not to me, that Jesus was created.

    One of my concerns regarding this matter is when I write I use Jesus, God and Lord interchangeably and wonder if I am confusing my readers by doing so.

  17. jON

    it’s just paul’s use of the term “firstborn” which strikes me a little odd. it sugeests, to me, a beginning. meaning a time when jesus was not.

    if jesus, is “the word”, and god created things by speaking them into existence, then it makes perfect sense how things would be created through him. but i suppose going down that rabbit trail would make this a study of colossians and not john… thanks for the tip on hebrews. its been awhile since i’ve read it.

  18. jON

    it’s just paul’s use of the term “firstborn” which strikes me a little odd. it sugeests, to me, a beginning. meaning a time when jesus was not.

    if jesus, is “the word”, and god created things by speaking them into existence, then it makes perfect sense how things would be created through him. but i suppose going down that rabbit trail would make this a study of colossians and not john… thanks for the tip on hebrews. its been awhile since i’ve read it.

  19. v.2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

    There are two things going on here: “cuts off” and “prunes”. At this time in Israel there were two prunings each year, one in spring which was a lighter pruning to encourage growth and one in autumn to prepare for winter. The spring pruning was in the expectation of fruit and the autumn pruning was to remove and burn dead wood (v.6). God performs both types of discipline in our lives.

    v.3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

    However discipline does not mean we are not saved and difficulties do not mean that God has abandoned us.

  20. v.2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

    There are two things going on here: “cuts off” and “prunes”. At this time in Israel there were two prunings each year, one in spring which was a lighter pruning to encourage growth and one in autumn to prepare for winter. The spring pruning was in the expectation of fruit and the autumn pruning was to remove and burn dead wood (v.6). God performs both types of discipline in our lives.

    v.3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

    However discipline does not mean we are not saved and difficulties do not mean that God has abandoned us.

  21. v.4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

    Jesus exhortation here suggests it is possible to be a Christian and not produce fruit because they are not abiding in the vine.

  22. v.4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

    Jesus exhortation here suggests it is possible to be a Christian and not produce fruit because they are not abiding in the vine.

  23. v.15-16 Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you

    The word friend could be a casual acquaintance, or a close friend or an intimate friend. Likewise with Jesus we can be casual, close or intimate. He chooses us but it is up to us how closely we want to draw near to him.

  24. v.15-16 Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you

    The word friend could be a casual acquaintance, or a close friend or an intimate friend. Likewise with Jesus we can be casual, close or intimate. He chooses us but it is up to us how closely we want to draw near to him.

  25. v. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

    (From Constable Commentary) “Jesus obviously did not mean that it would have been better for the world if He had remained in heaven. His point was that by coming into the world and preaching and working miracles He had confronted people with their rebellion against God (cf. Matt. 11:20-24; Luke 11:31-32). Jesus' words and works were the Father's who had sent Him. Therefore the world's rejection of them constituted rejection of the Father. To hate Jesus amounted to hating God. This is another strong implication of Jesus' deity.”

  26. v. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin.

    (From Constable Commentary) “Jesus obviously did not mean that it would have been better for the world if He had remained in heaven. His point was that by coming into the world and preaching and working miracles He had confronted people with their rebellion against God (cf. Matt. 11:20-24; Luke 11:31-32). Jesus' words and works were the Father's who had sent Him. Therefore the world's rejection of them constituted rejection of the Father. To hate Jesus amounted to hating God. This is another strong implication of Jesus' deity.”

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