9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have 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.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.
14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.”
The commentaries apply this to the Church, but in the context of the entire chapter, it’s obvious that Christ was speaking to the disciples (vs.3, 11, 16, 27) and, therefore, to Israel.
God’s love is unchanging. As long as His followers focus on it (abide in Him), they’ll bear fruit. But not if they abide in themselves and focus on their love for Him. Then they’ll see failure.
“So shall ye be My disciples” (John 15:8). With this should be compared John 8:31: “If ye continue in My Word, then are ye My disciples indeed.” Continuance in the Word is not a condition of discipleship, but an evidence of it. So here, to bear much fruit will make it manifest that we are His disciples. Just as good fruit on a tree does not make the tree a good one, but marks it out as such, so we prove ourselves to be Christ’s disciples by displaying Christlike qualities.
“As the Father hath loved Me, so I have loved you” (John 15:9). There is no change of theme, only another aspect of it. In the two previous verses the Lord had described three of the consequences of abiding in Him in order to bear fruitfulness; here, and in the three verses that follow, He names three of the varieties of the fruit borne; and it is very striking to note that they are identical with the first three and are given in the same order as those enumerated in Galatians 5:22, where the “fruit of the Spirit” is defined. Here in John 15:9, it is love; in 15:11, it is joy; while in 15:12 it is peace — the happy issue of brethren loving one another. — Pink, page 14.
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