1-8: “I am the true vine” is the seventh “I am” saying. It is only through Jesus that we can live and bear fruit. And the hard stuff that happens? That’s God pruning us so that we can bear even more fruit! When we maintain our relationship with Jesus we can be assured that God hears and answers our prayers, but He won’t answer prayers that are bad for us or bad for His kingdom.
9-17: Jesus is our example. He loves the Father, so He obeys the Father. We show our love for Jesus by obeying His commands. It also ensures a close and intimate relationship with Him, and because of that we experience joy as well! Jesus also shows His love for us by laying down His life. If Jesus loved us that much, how can we not love others? It’s also amazing that Jesus chose us and calls us friends. It’s another testimony to His love. We show that we are His friends if we love and obey, and if we love and obey we will be rewarded.
18-27: Jesus experienced hardship and hate – so will we. The hate is because He reveals peoples sin and their need for forgiveness. By proclaiming Jesus as the only way to God we also reveal to people that they need to know Him to be forgiven and have a right relationship with the Father. To reject Jesus is to hate Jesus. To hate Jesus is to hate the Father. And it’s hate without reason, as was foretold in the Psalms (35:19, 69:4). In fact that refusal to admit wrong, to acknowledge guilt, to seek forgiveness, and to believe is so strong that no-one could believe if it weren’t for the Spirit working in their lives. We join the Spirit in His testimony by letting others know their need for Jesus!