John 15:8
Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(8) Herein is my Father glorified.—This clause is generally understood of the words which follow as it is taken in our English version, but the rendering is liable to the objection that it gives a forced meaning to the word “that” (Ἱυα), which is properly used to express purpose. We may here (as in John 4:37; John 16:30) take “herein” to refer to the words which have gone before. By so doing we give a natural meaning to the words, and get a satisfactory sense for the sentence. The thought then will be, “In this doing whatever ye ask, my Father is glorified, in order that ye may bear much fruit, and that ye may become my disciples.”

So shall ye be my disciples.—Better, and may become My disciples. The pronoun is strongly emphatic. The living union with Christ, which made all their prayers, prayers in His name, and prayers which He would answer, and made them abound with fruit to the glory of God, was the characteristic which marked them as His true disciples.

John 15:8. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit — “As the end for which my Father has given the gospel dispensation to men, is to make them fruitful in holiness, you, my apostles, by spreading the true knowledge thereof through the world, and by reforming yourselves and others, will do honour unto God’s wisdom and goodness in bestowing this dispensation upon you.” But as the holiness of the apostles, and the diligent discharge of their duty in preaching the gospel, would be to the glory of God, in effecting, through his grace, the conversion and salvation of mankind; so, the fruitfulness of all Christians, in a lower and narrower sphere, tends greatly to promote the glory of God; for many, by seeing their good works, are brought to imitate the same, and glorify their Father who is in heaven, Matthew 5:16. So shall ye be my disciples — Thus shall you appear to all really to be what you call yourselves, my true disciples, and to act in a way worthy of your character and relation to me. Hereby shall you both evidence your discipleship and adorn it; and shall be owned by me as my disciples in the great day of final accounts, and have the reward of disciples, a share in the joy of your Lord. Observe, reader, to be a disciple of Christ, is both the foundation and height of Christianity.15:1-8 Jesus Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of the human and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that is in him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by the moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up. The Father is the Husbandman. Never was any husbandman so wise, so watchful, about his vineyard, as God is about his church, which therefore must prosper. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temper, disposition, and life. We must honour God, and do good; this is bearing fruit. The unfruitful are taken away. And even fruitful branches need pruning; for the best have notions, passions, and humours, that require to be taken away, which Christ has promised to forward the sanctification of believers, they will be thankful, for them. The word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we bring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more our Lord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with him by faith. It is the great concern of all Christ's disciples, constantly to keep up dependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those who abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in outward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittest place for withered branches; they are good for nothing else. Let us seek to live more simply on the fulness of Christ, and to grow more fruitful in every good word and work, so may our joy in Him and in his salvation be full.Herein - In this - to wit, in your bearing much fruit.

Glorified - Honored.

Bear much fruit - Are fruitful in good works; are faithful, zealous, humble, devoted, always abounding in the work of the Lord. This honors God.

1. Because it shows the excellence of his law which requires it.

2. Because it shows the power of his gospel, and of that grace which can overcome the evil propensities of the heart and produce it.

3. Because the Christian is restored to the divine image, and it shows how excellent is the character after which they are formed. They imitate God, and the world sees that the whole tendency of the divine administration and character is to make man holy; to produce in us that which is lovely, and true, and honest, and of good report. Compare Matthew 7:20; Philippians 4:8.

So - That is, in doing this.

Shall ye be my disciples - This is a true test of character. It is not by profession, but it is by a holy life, that the character is tried. This is a test which it is easy to apply, and one which decides the case. It is worthy of remark that the Saviour says that those who bear much fruit are they who are his disciples. The design and tendency of his religion is to excite men to do much good, and to call forth all their strength, and time, and talents in the work for which the Saviour laid down his life. Nor should anyone take comfort in the belief that he is a Christian who does not aim to do much good, and who does not devote to God all that he has in an honest effort to glorify his name, and to benefit a dying world. The apostles obeyed this command of the Saviour, and went forth preaching the gospel everywhere, and aiming to bring all men to the knowledge of the truth; and it is this spirit only, manifested in a proper manner, which can constitute any certain evidence of piety.

8. glorified that ye bear much fruit—not only from His delight in it for its own sake, but as from "the juices of the Living Vine."

so shall ye be my disciples—evidence your discipleship.

Here are two arguments to press his disciples’ abiding in him, that so they might bring forth much fruit.

Herein (saith our Saviour) is my Father glorified. The glorifying of God is the great end of our lives, 1 Corinthians 10:31. God is glorified by men and women’s bringing forth much fruit, Matthew 5:16, the fruit unto holiness, Romans 6:22: fruit is the product of the plant, from the natural moisture that is in it, nourished and augmented by the fatness of the earth in which it stands, and by the warmth of the sun drawn out to the producing of such effects, according to the nature of the plant. According to the different nature of plants they bring forth various fruits, Matthew 7:16-18. Hence we read of the fruit of sin unto death, and the fruit of righteousness unto life. The first is every man’s natural fruit, until he be ingrafted into Christ: being ingrafted into him, the soul having a new nature given to it, being regenerated and renewed by the Holy Ghost, it no longer bringeth forth fruit from its old principle, and according to its old nature, but from its new principle, and according to its new nature. As the cultivated earth, that is ploughed and harrowed, doth not bring forth weeds and ordinary grass, according to its nature, but bringeth forth fruit according to the seed that is cast into it, yet not without the influence of heaven, both with respect to the dew of it, and the warmth which it hath from the sun; so the soul, being regenerated, the fallow ground of it being ploughed up, and the seed of righteousness being sown in it, no more brings forth the weeds of lusts and corruptions, or only ordinary acts of human nature, but it brings forth fruits according to its new nature, and the new seed of the word now sown in it, and dwelling in it. And look, as it tendeth to the honour of the husbandman, when the ground by him ploughed and manured brings forth much fruit; so it tendeth to the honour and glory of God, when the souls renewed, manured, and influenced by him, bring forth much of the fruit of righteousness and holiness. And though men must be Christ’s disciples before they bring forth any fruit, yet their bringing forth much fruit is that which alone can evidence and make them appear to be the disciples of Christ. And often in Scripture being signifieth appearing, as John 8:31 Romans 3:4. Herein is my Father glorified,.... This does not so much refer to what goes before, concerning the disciples abiding in Christ, and he and his words abiding in them, and doing for them whatever they ask, though by all this God is glorified; as to what follows, the fruitfulness of the disciples:

that ye bear much fruit; of doctrine, grace, and good works, which show them to be trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, and the work of his hands; wherein the glory of his power, grace, and mercy, is greatly displayed. All the fruits of righteousness, with which they were filled by Christ, were by him to the praise and glory of God; yea, by the fruitfulness of grace, and of life and conversation, by the lively exercise of grace, and conscientious discharge of duty, as well by light of doctrine, and usefulness in the ministration of the Gospel, the disciples and servants of Christ not only glorify God themselves, but are the means of others glorifying him. It follows,

so shall ye be my disciples; or "disciples to me"; to my honour and glory also, as well as to my Father's; not that their fruitfulness made them the disciples of Christ, but made them appear to be so, or made them honourable ones. Just as good fruit does not make the tree good; the tree is first good, and therefore it brings forth good fruit; but shows it to be good: as by continuing in his word, abiding by his Gospel they appeared to be "disciples indeed", John 8:31, really and truly such; and as by loving one another, so by other fruits of righteousness, other men, all men know that they are the disciples of Christ.

{a} Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

(a) As one would say, Herein will my Father be glorified, and herein also will you be my disciples, if you bring forth much fruit.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
John 15:8. A further carrying out of this incitement to abiding on Him, and that by bringing out the great importance, rich in its results, of this granting of prayer, which is attached to the abiding required.

ἐν τούτῳ] Herein, to this a forward reference is generally given, so that ἵνα, κ.τ.λ. is the contents of τοῦτο. But thus understood, since ἵνα is not equivalent to ὅτι, this ἵνα would express, that in the obligation (you ought, John 15:12, comp. on John 6:29), or in the destination to bear much fruit, the δόξα of the Father is given. This is not appropriate, as it is rather in the actual fruit-bearing itself that that δόξα must lie, and hence ὅτι must have been employed. To distinguish ἵνα, however, merely by supplying “as I hope” (Lücke) from ὅτι, does not satisfy the telic nature of the word.[164] Hence (and not otherwise in 1 John 4:17) ἐν τούτῳ, as in John 4:37, John 16:30, is to be taken as a retrospective reference (so also Lange), and that not to the μένειν in itself, but to the immediately preceding Ὃ ἘᾺΝ ΘΈΛΗΤΕ ΑἸΤΉΣΑΣΘΕ Κ. ΓΕΝΉΣ. ὙΜῖΝ, so far, namely, as it takes place in him who abides in Christ. In this granting of prayer allotted to the μένειν ἐν ἐμοί, says Jesus, a twofold result—and this a high incentive to that ΜΈΝΕΙΝ—is given, namely, (1) when what you ask falls to your lot, then in this result my Father has been glorified (ἔλλαχε τιμήν, Nonnus), that you—for that is God’s design in this His δοξάζεσθαιmay bear much fruit (which is just to be the actual further course of that granting of prayer, comp. John 15:16); and (2) you will, in virtue of the fulfilment of all your prayers, become, in a truly proper and specific sense, my disciples, who belong to no other (note the emphatic possessive ἐμοί, as in John 13:35), since this hearing of prayer is the holy characteristic simply and solely of my disciples (John 14:13-14).

The future γενήσεσθε may depend on ἵνα (comp. on ἸΆΣΟΜΑΙ, John 12:40, see also on 1 Corinthians 9:18; Ephesians 6:3), as Ewald connects it; independently, however, of ἽΝΑ, and therefore connected with ἘΝ ΤΟΎΤῼ, the words convey more weight in the independence appropriate to their distinctive contents. The Lord, however, does not say ἜΣΕΣΘΕ, but He sees the full development of His discipledom beginning with the ἐν τούτῳ.

[164] Cyril already rightly recognised that ἵνα cannot be an explanation of ἐν τούτῳ, but only a statement of the purpose of ἐδοξ. ὁ πατ. μ. But quite irrelevantly he referred ἐδοξ. ὁ πατ. μ. to the mission of the Son.John 15:8. Further assurance of an answer is given in the fact that the γεωργός is glorified in the fruit-bearing branches: ἐν τούτῳ, “in this pre-eminently,” i.e., in your bearing much fruit, cf. John 6:29-30; John 6:40. So, rightly, Weiss and Holtzmann. For construction with ἵνα see Burton on Subject, Predicate and Appositive clauses introduced by ἵνα.—ἐδοξάσθη ὁ πατήρ μου, ἵνα, etc. ἐδοξάσθη, proleptic; cf. John 13:31. The Father is glorified in everything which demonstrates that through Christ His grace reaches and governs men.—καὶ γενήσεσθε ἐμοὶ μαθηταί, “and ye shall become my disciples”. The ἐμοὶ μαθηταί seems to mean: This is the relation you will hold to me, viz., that of discipleship. “A Christian never ‘is,’ but always ‘is becoming’ a Christian. And it is by his fruitfulness that he indicates his claim to the name.” Westcott.8. Herein is my Father glorified] As in John 15:6, the verb is the aorist passive; not ‘is being glorified’ but ‘is glorified,’ i.e. whenever the occasion arises. The aorist is used of an act regarded in itself as accomplished at any conceivable moment: comp. John 17:26. ‘When ye pray and obtain your prayers through abiding in Me, My Father is glorified already.’ It is best to understand ‘herein’ as referring to what precedes (comp. John 4:37 and John 16:30), in order to give the proper meaning to ‘that.’

that ye bear] Literally, in order that ye may bear: it is S. John’s favourite particle once more, expressing the Divine purpose (comp. John 8:56, John 9:2-3, John 11:15; John 11:50, John 12:23, John 13:1-2, &c.). ‘Herein’ cannot refer to ‘in order that’ without awkwardness.

so shall ye be my disciples] Rather, and may become My disciples. The construction introduced by ‘in order that’ continues to the end of the verse; moreover the difference between ‘to be’ and ‘to become’ should be preserved (see on John 10:19, John 1:6). The sense of the whole will therefore be; ‘In granting your prayers My Father is glorified, in order that ye may be fruitful and become My disciples.’John 15:8. Ἐδοξάσθη, has been (is) glorified) and hath appointed that He should be glorified.—ἵνα, that) This depends on τούτῳ, in this.—πολὺν, much) The multitude of the grapes reflects honour on the vine-dresser.—γενήσεσθε) Others have written it γενήσησθε or γένησθε, on account of the ἵνα. The Vulgate has efficiamini. What the Latin translator (Jerome) read in the Greek, is not quite clear. The same decision may be come to as regards the other versions.[358] The construction would not be amiss, ἽΝΑ ΦΈΡΗΤΕ ΚΑῚ ΓΕΝΉΣΕΣΘΕ: comp. the note on Mark 3:27.[359] But we rather thus explain the construction, In this (namely, that ye bear much fruit), both My FATHER is glorified, and I shall have disciples who reflect honour on Me.—ἐμοὶ) to or for Me (comp. Matthew 27:57, Joseph, who also himself ἐμαθήτευσεν τῷ Ἰησοῦ, was a disciple for Jesus, not merely of Jesus, but one who was both a disciple himself, and strove to win others also to Him), or else of Me, My.—μαθηταὶ) This is to be taken in a pregnant sense, “ye shall be disciples, i.e. worthy of Me:” ch. John 13:35, “By this shall all men know that ye are My disciples, if ye have love one to another.” The foundation of Christianity in a man is for him to become a disciple of Christ: its complete superstructure is to be a disciple of Christ.

[358] BDLX read γένησθε, and so Lachm. AΔ and Rec. Text have γενήσεσθε. bc and Vulg. ‘efficiamini;’ a ‘sitis.’ Three MSS. γενήσησθε.—E. and T.

[359] ἐὰν μὴ δήσῃ, καὶ τότε διαρπάσει, the Indic. future coming after ἐὰν μή with the Subjunctive, the idea of contingency being more prominent in the former than in the latter clause, which indeed is a kind of positive Apodosis to the former. So LXX. Deuteronomy 20:5.—E. and T.Verse 8. - Here the Lord shows what he knows will be and must be the dominant desire of the man who abides in himself, in whom his own word abides. Such a man will seek, yearn, ask, that he should bear much fruit. This prayer will be heard, and in this sublime synthesis between Christ and his disciples, says Christ, was my Father glorified. "In the fruitfulness of the vine is the glory of the husbandman," and in the answer of your prayers, and the regulation of all your desires, so ye shall become my disciples. "Discipleship" is a very large word, never altogether realized. Just as faith leads to faith, and love to love, and light to light, so does discipleship to discipleship. As Bengel says, discipleship is the fundamentum et fastigium of Christianity. On earth the vine reveals itself in the branches, and thus conceals itself behind them. "This explains why the diffusion of spiritual life makes such slow progress in the world - the Vine effects nothing but by means of the branches, and these so often paralyze instead of promoting the action of the Vine" (Godet). If the other text be maintained, Herein was my Father glorified, so that ye might bear much fruit, and that ye may become my disciples, the "herein" points back to the previous verse, and then the contemplated result of the arrangement, rather than the purpose of the glory, is the matter referred to. Herein (ἐν τούτῳ)

Commonly referred to what follows. My Father is glorified in this, namely, that ye bear much fruit. It is better to refer it back to John 15:7. In the perfect unity of will between the Son and the disciple, which results in the disciple's obtaining whatever he asks, the Father is glorified. To this effect is John 14:13, "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son." The design of this glorification is that (ἴνα) you may bear much fruit. This retrospective reference of ἐν τούτῳ, in this, or herein, occurs in John 4:37; John 16:30; 1 John 4:17.

Is glorified (ἐδοξάσθη)

The aorist tense; was glorified. As in John 15:6, marking the point when the Father's glory was realized in the perfect union of the believer's will with Christ's.

So shall ye be (καὶ γενήσεσθε)

Literally, and ye shall become. Some editors, however, read γένησθε, and connect, in the same construction with the preceding clause, rendering, "Herein is (was) my Father glorified, that ye might bear much fruit and become my disciples." Note that the word is become, not be. Christian discipleship implies progress and growth.

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