John 15:17 MEANING

John 15:17
(17) These things I command you--i.e., the things of which He has spoken from John 15:1 onwards, and especially from John 15:12-16. After speaking them He comes back to the purpose from which this section started, "that ye love one another."

We must beware of the not unfrequent mistake of interpreting "these things" of the words which follow, as if it were, "I command you this, viz., to love one another." The thought is, "I am giving you these precepts that you may love one another."

Verses 17-27. - (b) The results of this union with Christ to the unbelieving world. Verse 17. - These things do I command you - clearly pointing back to Ver. 12 - that ye may love one another. This entire meditation culminates where it began. The digression comes back to the main theme Westcott regards it as the starting-point of a new theme, but our Lord did not return upon the idea of mutual love, but discusses the effect upon the world of that love to each other and to him which blended their personalities into one mystic unity. This verse shows how the new topic links itself with the previous discussion. His dying for them, thus proving his friendship for them, and all the other signs of his interest and confidence, have been set before them to this great end; for while the world is full of outrage and mutual animosities, the motive of his own entire self-manifestation is to awaken a new and higher type and model of humanity. Well may the familiar legend of St. John in the churches of Ephesus confirm this sublime truth. From this point to the end of the chapter (Ver. 27) Christ unfolded the consequences, to the unbelieving world, of the sacred union between himself and his disciples, and he discussed the reciprocal relations between his own disciples and the world, seeing that they are united with him in such a close incorporation.

15:9-17 Those whom God loves as a Father, may despise the hatred of all the world. As the Father loved Christ, who was most worthy, so he loved his disciples, who were unworthy. All that love the Saviour should continue in their love to him, and take all occasions to show it. The joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment, but the joy of those who abide in Christ's love is a continual feast. They are to show their love to him by keeping his commandments. If the same power that first shed abroad the love of Christ's in our hearts, did not keep us in that love, we should not long abide in it. Christ's love to us should direct us to love each other. He speaks as about to give many things in charge, yet names this only; it includes many duties.These things I command you,.... The doctrines which Christ spake, as one having authority, concerning the vine and branches; his love to his disciples, in laying down his life for them, and in accounting and using them as friends, and not servants; in choosing, ordaining, and sending them forth, for the ends above mentioned; these were delivered by him with this view, to promote brotherly love among them: that ye love one another; this lay much upon his heart, he often mentions it; this is the third time it is expressed by him, in these his last discourses; and indeed, since he had declared such strong love and affection for them, it was but right and proper they should love one another; nor does anything more tend to increase mutual love among the saints, than the consideration of their common interest in the unchangeable love of their Lord.
Courtesy of Open Bible