This chapter continues on from the previous chapter. In this chapter Jesus clearly states what the commandment is, what it is that he asks of his disciples. He also clarifies the meaning of discipleship. He also warns the disciples about the threats they may need to face for they are his followers. But he also reminds the disciples that if they follow the Word it will take them home to the Father. Jesus’ message seems very clear in this chapter, he uses much less ‘rhetoric’s’ than in previous chapters. He seems to talk to people who surely understand his message.
“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
First, Jesus reminds us that the only way to get cleaned of our sins is by attaching ourselves to the Word. Then, he reminds us that we cannot make any spiritual progress or bear fruits of our spiritual practice without merging into his Radiant Form.
“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.”
Beas explains that we need to be careful with the spiritual path we take because “despite all their efforts they accomplish nothing spiritually, but only bind themselves even more tightly to this world … .” Because the human body is a precious tool in our spiritual advancement we are advised “to make the best use of it while we have it, and make real spiritual progress … under the guidance of a living Master.”
“These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”
Here, Jesus clarifies that all that he has spoken is because he leaves this world soon but his Radiant Form will always be available to thee disciples and they should be happy to know that he is merging back with the Father now.
“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.”
It is very clear that Jesus lifts the people he is talking to onto the same level where he is, they become equal to him. Beas explains that “as a friend, I have also shared with you all the things that my Father has told me. As servants, you knew neither me nor my Father …”
Personally, I have never thought of my teachers or Jesus as an authority figure or as of a boss. I always felt equal to them. For me it is essential that I feel comfortable and friendly with the person whom I allow to guide me in my journey of self-discovery and enlightenment. I can only trust one who inspires me with his/her personal example and who is humble enough to be my friend without needing to put him/herself on a pedestal because of having more experience or knowledge than me.
“Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. “
It was fascinating to read that Jesus, and the Masters, choose us disciples. They call us and draw us close to them because they know that we are allotted to them, that it is in our destiny that we make spiritual progress in this lifetime.
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.”
Via these passages Jesus communicates to his disciples about the public opinion and criticism that they should not be worried about. He reminds them that worldly people like only people who are attached to the world like they are and so they condemn those who are not their kind. He also tells them about the down side of being a disciple, however, he also reminds them “remain staunch in your faith, and their taunts will not affect you.”