“No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.  “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  “These things I command you, that you love one another.
What are the facts of the passage?:
What do those facts mean?:
15) - I
call you not servants - This had been the common title by which he
addressed them Matt. 10:24-25; John 12:26; 13:13; but he had also before
this, on one occasion, called them friends Luke 12:4, and on one occasion
after this he called them servants, John 15:20. He here means that the
ordinary title by which he would henceforth address them would be that of
servant knoweth not - He receives the command of his master without knowing the reason why
this or that thing is ordered. It is one of the conditions of slavery not
to be let into the counsels and plans of the master. It is the privilege
of friendship to be made acquainted with the plans wishes, and wants of
the friend. This instance of friendship Jesus had given them by making
them acquainted with the reasons why he was about to leave them, and with
his secret wishes in regard to them. As he had given them this proof of
friendship, it was proper that he should not withhold from them the title
have called you friends - I have given you the name of friends. He does not mean that the usual
appellation which he had given them had been than of friends, but that
such was the title which he had now given them.
all things - The
reason why he called them friends was that he had now treated them as
friends. He had opened to them his mind; made known his plans; acquainted
them with the design of his coming, his death, his resurrection, and
ascension; and, having thus given them the clearest proof of friendship,
it was proper that he should give them the name.
I have heard - Jesus
frequently represents himself as commissioned or sent by God to accomplish
an important work, and as being instructed by him in regard to the nature
of that work. See the notes at John 5:30. By what he had heard of the
Father, he doubtless refers to the design of God in his coming and his
death. This he had made known to them.
16) - Ye
have not chosen me—The word here translated “chosen” is that
from which is derived the word “elect,” and means the same thing. It
is frequently thus translated, Mark 13:20; Matt. 24:22, 24, 31; Col. 3:12.
It refers here, doubtless, to his choosing or electing them to be
apostles. He says that it was not because they had chosen him to be their
teacher and guide, but because he had designated them to be his apostles.
See John 6:70; also Matt. 4:18-22. He thus shows them that his love for
them was pure and disinterested; that it commenced when they had no
affection for him; that it was not a matter of obligation on his part, and
that therefore it placed them under more tender and sacred obligations to
be entirely devoted to his service. The same may be said of all who are
endowed with talents of any kind, or raised to any office in the church or
the state. It is not that they have originated these talents, or laid God
under obligation. What they have they owe to his sovereign goodness, and
they are bound to devote all to his service. Equally true is this of all
Christians. It was not that by nature they were more inclined than others
to seek God, or that they had any native goodness to recommend them to
him, but it was because he graciously inclined them by his Holy Spirit to
seek him; because, in the language of the Episcopal and Methodist articles
of religion, “The grace of Christ ‘prevented’ them;” that is, went
before them, commenced the work of their personal salvation, and thus God
in sovereign mercy chose them as His own. Whatever Christians, then,
possess, they owe to God, and by the most tender and sacred ties they are
bound to be his followers.
have chosen you—To
be apostles. Yet all whom he now addressed were true disciples. Judas had
left them; and when Jesus says he had chosen them to bear fruit, it may
mean, also, that he had “chosen them to salvation, through
sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth,” 2 Thes 2:13.
I have placed you, appointed you, set you apart. It does not mean that he
had done this by any formal public act of the imposition of hands, as we
now use the word, but that he had designated or appointed them to this
work, Luke 6:13-16; Matt. 10:2-5.
you should be rich in good works; faithful and successful in spreading my
gospel. This was the great business to which they were set apart, and this
they faithfully accomplished. It may be added that this is the great end
for which Christians are chosen. It is not to be idle, or useless, or
simply to seek enjoyment. It is to do good, and to spread as far as
possible the rich temporal and spiritual blessings which the gospel is
fitted to confer on mankind.
fruit should remain—This
How do those facts apply to my life?:
That God use a few men to change the world and turn it upside down is perhaps the greatest historical testimony to the truth of the Word of God and the reality of the claims of the Gospel. The fruit of the Apostles, the presence of the church, the doctrine of the Bible, and the spread of the Gospel has indeed remained unto this day. Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the confession of Christ as Lord that is the church’s testimony and banner. We can be assured that it will be so until Christ returns, no matter what the enemy seeks to turn against us or perpetrate against the body. There is great assurance here!
What should I do in response?:
I must see to it that I am a part of what the
Apostles established. There
is no “solo” work in the church.
We must all be a part of that work that God founded upon Christ and
established by the work of the Apostles.
I must see to it that I am a part of what the Apostles established. There is no “solo” work in the church. We must all be a part of that work that God founded upon Christ and established by the work of the Apostles.
|Fruit That Remains|