As we are finding, within the context of John 13-17 during the second Passover. We see Yeshua as our Passover Lamb who is about to shed His blood over the doorposts of the whole house of Yisrael. As such, He is giving instructions and commandments to His own, just like God gave them through Moses to the children of Yisrael in Egypt. These words are to be followed or the Spirit will not passover your sins. So the Father prunes the disciples through Yeshua’s words and deeds. Cleaning them for the Passover that is about to commence. The same way Moses was commanded to circumcise the physical flesh of God’s children, Yeshua circumcises our hearts with His Word, and prepares us for the forgiving of our sins. The passing over of our judgment. Having followed His Words we have placed ourselves ‘in Him’. We entered the house who’s blood was shed for our sins. The house of Yeshua. Who covers all our sins with His blood.
So the message Yeshua has been giving to the disciples was ‘be united in Me’, when we are united as one with Yeshua through the Spirit, and so love others, we are following the words and commands He gave.
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
The fruit is love. Love of God, and love for others. Impossible to achieve without the indwelling of the Spirit and the unity with Yeshua and God the Father. Your love is worthless if it does not flow from this source. In fact it’s no love at all.
He tells the disciples they are ‘already’ clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Nowhere does it imply nor state this means the Torah given Moses. This would be doing a disservice to the text. Because you have to read it into the text. The ‘only’ point Yeshua has been making during this time is to believe the words He is speaking to them. And in so doing He gives commandments, as we see here below.
5 I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
These are the words Yeshua has been speaking to them in person.
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
The command is to abide the love of the vine. Yeshua is the vine, He commands us to be ‘in’ Him, and to Love. He states here that if we are united with Yeshua through love we are keeping the Fathers commandments that He spoke through Yeshua. In Messiah we live by love as a commandment. It is His commandment to live united with Yeshua through love. Yeshua remained united with the Father through love, and commands us to remian united with Yeshua through love.
The Father is glorifed when we are united with Yeshua in love. It proves we are His disciples.
11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy maybe in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
This is the second time Yeshua has giving a direct Commandment. And again it requires we love each other. Implying ‘If you love me, keep my commandments’ means the Law given Moses compltely begs the question. The fact is, Yeshua was giving commandments and telling them to keep them.
13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servantdoes not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.
These are all present tense statements. “You are my friends (now) if you do what I command you (now). “I have called you friends (now), all that I have heard from my Father I have made know to you (now).
16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
Here is the key verse to all of this. John 15:17 states that Yeshua commanded them to love one another. That all these commandments were so that we will love one another. Abide in Yeshua who abides in the Father, in love. This is the commandment, and is proved through the Torah and the prophets.
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
We are not of the world, our commandments are not about worldly observances and rituals. So those who believe they are about these things hate us who have been freed from them. The older hates the younger.
20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.
These words are current words, not a repeat of Moses. If Yeshua did not come to speak “now” to them, even though they had the Torah they would have no excuse for their sin. Yeshua is needed APART from the Law for forgivness of sins. The law will not forgive your sins. The law does not bring sinlessness. Nor does it keep you sinless. ONLY Yeshua’s words do that. So why would He lead people back to words that can not free?
No sir, Yeshua has the Words of freedom. A freedom apart from the Law. Of Faith and Love. A freedom brought about by abiding in Yeshua. Being in Him. Dead to the world but alive in Messiah. In His Love.
23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’ 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
Yeshua did works among us that NO ONE ELSE did. He made the way possible for God to dwell within us. And now because all have see it, those who do not believe in the words and works of Yeshua are guilty of sin. The Spirit bears witness about Yeshua, not Moses. The Apostles also bear witness about Yeshua, not Moses, because they have been with Him from the beginning.
The witness’s showed and told about being one with God through Faith in Messiah. Becoming one with God through the indwelling of His Spirit. The words and commandments witness to this truth. We are one with God, He is our Father who lives and breaths through us as we have our being ‘in’ Messiah. Who is the Word of God made flesh. He lives within us. We witness to this truth, His words He gave from above. Making us the fulness of His creation.
"When you awake in the morning, learn something to inspire you and mediate upon it, then plunge forward full of light with which to illuminate the darkness." -Rabbi Tzvi Freeman
Jewish adventures in the diaspora.
Scripture, ethics and spiritual formation