John 15 Expanded Bible (EXB)
Jesus Is Like a Vine
15 “I am the ·true vine [C contrast Israel, the unreliable vine; Ps. 80:8–18; Is. 5:1–7]; my Father is the ·gardener [farmer; vinedresser]. 2 He ·cuts off [or takes away] every branch ·of mine [L in me] that does not produce fruit [C whose lives bear no indication of a relationship with Christ]. And he ·trims and cleans [prunes; C the verb implies both trimming and cleaning] every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit [Heb. 12:4–11]. 3 You are already ·clean [or pruned] because of the words I have spoken to you. 4 ·Remain [Abide] in me, and I will ·remain [abide] in you. A branch cannot produce fruit ·alone [by itself] but must ·remain [abide] in the vine. In the same way, you cannot produce fruit alone but must ·remain [abide] in me.
5 “I am the vine, and you are the branches. If any ·remain [abide] in me and I ·remain [abide] in them, they produce much fruit. But ·without [apart from] me they can do nothing. 6 If any do not ·remain [abide] in me, they are like a branch that is thrown away and then ·dies [withers; dries up]. People ·pick up [gather together] dead branches, throw them into the fire, and burn them. 7 If you ·remain [abide] in me and ·follow my teachings [L my words abide/remain in you], you can ask anything you want, and it will ·be given to [be done for; come to] you. 8 You should produce much fruit and ·show that you are [or become] my ·followers [disciples], which ·brings glory to [glorifies] my Father. 9 I loved you as the Father loved me. Now ·remain [abide] in my love. 10 I have ·obeyed [kept] my Father’s commands, and I ·remain [abide] in his love. In the same way, if you ·obey [keep] my commands, you will ·remain [abide] in my love. 11 I have told you these things so that ·you can have the same joy I have [L my joy may be in you] and so that your joy ·will be the fullest possible joy [L might be complete].
12 “This is my command: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 ·The greatest love a person can show is to die for his friends [L No one has greater love than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends; C Jesus’ death is the ultimate expression of this principle]. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I no longer call you ·servants [slaves; bond-servants], because a ·servant [slave; bond-servant] does not know what his ·master [lord] is doing. But I call you friends, because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me; I chose you. And I ·gave you this work: [appointed you] to go and produce fruit, fruit that will ·last [remain; abide]. Then the Father will give you anything you ask for in my name [see 14:13]. 17 This is my command: Love each other.
Jesus Warns His Followers
18 “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me ·first [before you]. 19 If you ·belonged to [L were of] the world, it would love you as it loves its own. But I have chosen you out of the world, ·so [because] you don’t belong to it. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember ·what [the word] I told you: A ·servant [slave; bond-servant] is not greater than his ·master [lord; see 13:16]. If people ·did wrong to [persecuted] me, they will ·do wrong to [persecute] you, too. And if they ·obeyed my teaching [L kept my word], they will ·obey [keep] yours, too. 21 [L But] They will do all this to you on account of ·me [L my name; 14:13], because they do not know the One who sent me. 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. 23 Whoever hates me also hates my Father. 24 I did works among them that no one else has ever done. If I had not done these works, they would not be guilty of sin. [C Jesus’ words and actions resulted in their guilt because they rejected him despite the evidence (the “signs”) that God was working through him; see Matt. 11:20–24; Luke 11:31–32.] But now they have seen what I have done, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this happened so that what is written in their law ·would be true [L might be fulfilled]: ‘They hated me for no reason [C the quote could be from Ps. 35:19 or Ps. 69:4].’
26 “I will send you the ·Helper [Counselor; Advocate; C the Holy Spirit] from the Father; he is the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father. When he comes, he will ·tell [testify; witness] about me, 27 and you also must ·tell people [testify; witness] about me, because you have been with me from the beginning.