|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
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.
Verse 3. - Now ye are clean - pruned, purged, cleansed, of the Divine Owner - by reason of the word (λόγον) which I have spoken to you. The Father has been operating this cleansing process upon you by the whole of the ῤήματά (see Ver. 7), which are gathered together into one mighty, quick, and active Logos. As we find in Hebrews 4:12, the Word is sharper than a two-edged sword, and capable of dealing summarily with "thoughts and intents of the heart." Augustine, on this passage, admits that it is the Logos which gives all its value to the water of baptism. "This purifying, sanctifying process has been performed upon you," says Christ. Then since "he who sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one," this continuance remains as the gracious possibility. The vital sap proceeds from Christ alone, and not from our corrupted nature, which must be grafted into his life and become part of him. Many may seem to be a part of Christ, to be sacramentally or outwardly united to him, and even to be drawing some real advantages from the contact, and yet their end is fruitlessness, rottenness, removal, fire. The branches which bear fruit never bring forth all they might produce, never realize their ideal. The pruning, cleansing process must pass over every soul, that it may more adequately fulfill its destiny. The cleansing, searching power of the Word will be freely exercised by the Divine Husbandman.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. These words being inserted in the discourse concerning the vine and branches, and the pruning and purging them to make them fruitful, are thought, by the learned Dr. Lightfoot, to be an allusion to the law in Leviticus 19:23; by which the fruit of trees, for the first three years, were accounted uncircumcised or unclean, and in the fourth year fit for use; concerning which the Talmudists have a whole tract, called "Orla"; the apostles having enjoyed the ministry of Christ, and been his disciples about such a time. Though the "now" seems to refer to the removal and taking away of that withered and unfruitful branch, Judas. Christ, in John 13:10, had told his disciples, that they "were clean, but not all", because the betrayer was among them; but he being discovered by Christ, and ordered by him to be gone, went out from among them about his wicked design; and now Christ could say of them all, that they were clean: which may be understood of their regeneration and sanctification, in which their hearts were sprinkled with clean water; were washed with the washing of regeneration; had their hearts purified by faith in the blood of Christ, and had pure principles of grace formed in their souls; of all which the Gospel of Christ was the instrumental means: or of their justification by the righteousness of Christ, by which they were justified from all sin; and were all fair, and without spot; which was through the Gospel of Christ revealing his righteousness to them, or through the sentence of justification he, by his Spirit, passed upon their consciences.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. Now—rather, "Already."
ye are clean through—by reason of.
the word I have spoken to you—already in a purified, fruitful condition, in consequence of the long action upon them of that searching "word" which was "as a refiner's fire" (Mal 3:2, 3).
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