The Divine Lamp

The unfolding of thy words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple…Make thy face shine upon thy servant, and teach me thy statutes

Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 15:9-17

Posted by Dim Bulb on May 13, 2011

Joh 15:9  As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love.

As ( καθως = kathos) expresses not equality, but resemblance. The resemblance consists in this, that as the Father loved Christ’s humanity gratuitously, without any previous merit on its part, and united it with the
Person of the Word, so Christ loved the disciples gratuitously, and united them with Himself. So Toletus, following St. Aug. Then Christ adds as a practical conclusion: Take care to remain in the enjoyment of that love of Mine for you. Or the meaning of the whole verse according to the Greek text
may be: as the Father hath loved Me, and as I have loved you, so abide ye in the enjoyment of that love of Mine for you.

Joh 15:10  If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love: as I also have kept my Father’s commandments and do abide in his love.

Here He points out how they are to continue to enjoy His love: it is by keeping His commandments.

Joh 15:11  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and your joy may be filled.

The meaning is: these things, namely, that you should keep My commandments and continue to retain My love, I have spoken in order that
My joy on account of youmay continue (the true reading is η, not μεινη, but does not alter the sense), and your joy may be perfected.

Joh 15:12  This is my commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you.

He had just said that the observance of His commandments is a necessary condition to be fulfilled by those who would retain His love, and now He goes on to point to one commandment that in a special manner is His, the " new commandment (John 13:34), to which they must attend.

Joh 15:13  Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

In this verse He explains what sort is that love of His upon which theirs must be modelled (comp. 1 John 3:16). The meaning is, that no greater proof of love for a friend can be given than to lay down one s life for him. This He was about to do for them.  The comparison is not between dying for a friend and dying for an enemy, but between the different proofs of love for a friend.

Joh 15:14  You are my friends, if you do the things that I command you.

Here He shows that in speaking of laying down His life for His friends, He means laying it down for the Apostles.

Joh 15:15  I will not now call you servants: for the servant knoweth not what his lord doth. But I have called you friends. because all things, whatsoever I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you.

He has referred to them as friends, and will do so in future. Formerly, indeed, He had referred to them as His servants (John 12:26, 13:16), but now after He has taken them so fully into His confidence, told them of His speedy departure from them (Jn 13:33), pointed out to them His consubstantiality with the Father (Jn 14:7-11), and instructed them that the Holy Ghost was to come to them (Jn 1416, 17), He will no longer speak of them as servants, but as friends.

All things whatsoever I have heard of my Father, I have made known to you. That is to say, all the know ledge which was communicated
to Him, together with His Divine nature, in His eternal generation by the Father; all this, as far as they were cap able (John 16:12), and it was useful for them, He had communicated to them.

Joh 15:16  You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you; and have appointed you, that you should go and should bring forth fruit; and your fruit should remain: that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

You have not chosen me: but I have chosen you. Or more exactly; it was not you that chose Me, but I chose you, where the aorist refers back to the definite act of selecting and calling the Apostles. Not only then was
His love for them most intense, as was signified in verse 13, but it was also gratuitous , unmerited: and this is now pointed out. You did not choose Me as your friend, but I chose you as My special friends, My Apostles; and set you up as such, in order that, you should go into the whole world (Mark 16:15), and bear fruit in yourselves and others, and that this fruit should remain unto eternal life.

That (ινα) whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. Some as Maldonado, and Lapide take ινα here to denote a consequence: if you bring forth the fruit for which I have chosen you, it will come to pass that whatsoever, &c. Others think ινα. may retain its usual
telic force: I appointed you in order that . . . your fruit should remain, and that whatsoever in reference to thatfruit you shall ask, &c. On what is meant by asking the Father in Christ s name, see above on John 14:13.

Joh 15:17  These things I command you, that you love one another.

Some take the meaning to be: these things, namely, the greatness and gratuitousness of My love for you I insist upon, to the end that you may love one another. Others as Maldonado, and Patriz. take the meaning to be the same as in verse 1 1: this is what I command you, namely, that you love one an other. The use of ταυτα (Latine: haec) and not ταυτο (Latin: hoc) is rather
against the latter view, but it is replied that the plural demonstrative followed by the single precept is intended to signify that charity is the fulfilment of
the whole law.

3 Responses to “Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 15:9-17”

  1. […] Father’s Nolan and Brown’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 15:9-17). […]

  2. […] Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on John 15:9-17. […]

  3. […] Fathers Nolan’s and Brown’s Commentary on Today’s Gospel (John 15:9-17). […]

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