ESV - 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.
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I would say that Jesus made this statement as a preventive against the development of pride on the part of the apostles. Such pride would hinder the degree of their usefulness with regard to the missionary work that they would be expected to perform -- as well as undergoing the hardships associated with that work. (And the apostles apparently needed frequent instruction in that regard, as indicated by the number of times (such as Mark 9:33-37, and even at the Last Supper (Luke 22:24-27)) that the gospels record them arguing among themselves about which of them was the greatest.) Jesus was reminding them that their status as apostles was in no way attributable to their own effort or merit, but was entirely the result of His choosing and calling them. His statement was also an indication that the apostles were not their own masters, but were always to be subject to His will and desires, just as He Himself sought the Father's will, rather than His own (John 6:38).
John 15:16 is spoken by Jesus to eleven of His twelve chosen Apostles during the last supper. It part of a long and personal discourse with many teachings, moments of encouragement, and instructions spanning from John 13 to John 17. Judas is not present for this portion, as he was on his way to betray Jesus (Jn 13:21-30.) John 15:16 is part of Jesus’ command to the disciples to love one another. It follows his parable on the vine, where he exhorts them to keep His commands and abide in His love, even as He kept the Father’s commandments and abides in His love. Just as Jesus has set up a chain where they should love each other because they abide in the love of Christ who in turn abides in the love of the Father, a chain of position, He is also detailing a chain of commission wherein He is sending them out into the world even as He was sent by the Father (Jn 15:21.) The singular fruit mentioned in jn 15:16 functions both as a reference to be the harvest of believers, the beginnings of the church, that would come through their evangelism (John 4:34-38, Matt 9:36-38, Matt 28:19. etc.) and as a further element of their own personal fruit and growth tying back to Jn 15:5. Jesus reminds them He chose (elected) them and appointing them as His apostles. Unlike the general rabbinical custom where exemplary Torah students would petition to study under a famous rabbi to become a talmidim* (disciple), Jesus went out and specifically chose His twelve Apostles from among farmers, fisherman, and other common professions. He “chose them first” by His own will, not by their own effort or merit. They then accepted His call and left their lives behind to follow Him as their rabbi/teacher. 11 of them would go on to follow Jesus as Messiah and Savior as well (Mk 3:14-19, Lk 6:13.) “In my first book, O Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach, until the day He was taken up to heaven after giving instructions to the apostles He had chosen (Acts 1:1-2.) Jesus personal words to them in Jn 15 are set against the backdrop of His soon-coming betrayal and death on the cross. But though He will personally soon leave them, and they will have to continue without Him, He is not abandoning them. He will not conceal things as He did sometimes during the Earthly ministry. He promises to send them the Helper (Jn 15:16) to guide them in truth and He also encourages them that He is giving them the authority to use His name as His appointed Apostles. As they are His chosen Apostles, abiding in Him and in His love even as He abides in the love of the Father, whatever they ask for in His name will be done by the Father. The Father is glorified by the fruit they bear. So not only Has He appointed them as apostles, but they can trust that His authority is going with them, as they abide in him and follow His commands, during the soon-coming time of persecution they will face. He will even delegate some of His authority to them, that they can ask in the Father's name and have it done. While us Christians living today are not among the twelve Apostles, we can still take some similar comforts from the text: #1 We also abide in Christ’s love as He abides in the Father. All those in the church are rooted in Christ. This is a source of unity and love among all Christians as well as bears fruit in our own relationship with Christ (II Pet 1:2-11, Gal 5.) #2 We know of Christ because God first sent Him into the world to be the light and chose to reveal Him, accomplish salvation through Christ, and promise to save us. How comforting it is that God didn't wait for us to ask, but rather reached out to the whole undeserving world in Christ and invited all of us to come follow Him! #3 We continue the chain of commission: Father -> Christ -> Disciples/Paul -> Generations of Christians -> Us! We are a part of the spread of the gospel, even in the face of death.
John 15:16 is such a profound scripture that makes you realize that you were chosen for salvation. Let me tell you a little of my story. I was sitting on my sofa after a day at work all alone. I was depressed but didn't really understand depression at that time because I just don't remember ever being depressed before. I sat there with my head in my hands sitting on the sofa staring at a blank wall. Suddenly I said out loud this question: "What is life worth living for?" Well, not raised in the church and not even going to church my whole life except to get married, I never imagined or really understood spiritually that God our Heavenly Father might reply. He replied not in a small still voice but in a vision. I saw five letters appear in my mind one letter at a time. J-E-S-U-S. Yep! I had a vision. Although until after salvation and a year of studying God's word, then I realized that it was a vision. Now I was not saved, never went to church and did not watch Christian TV. I was a party animal; that was my religion, period. Well suddenly I wanted to change. I wanted to quit drinking, drugging, dealing, smoking, and being a womanizer. To this day I realized that someone must have prayed me into the kingdom and I really think it was my sister, even though I lived 400 miles away from her. She had a burden for my salvation and probably many others that I do not know about. The bible says many are called but few are chosen, but it also says choose God and you will be chosen. Draw nigh to him and he will draw nigh to you. Matthew 22:14 James 4:8 But I know this it was not my plan or desire to change that brought all of it to pass. Meaning my salvation was orchestrated by our Heavenly Father and I am glad he choose me, because someone or many persons asked him to. And the power to change came when I received the message of salvation in my first attendance at a church that I was invited to for the first time in my life. And I knew instantly that I wanted salvation because the Holy Spirit drew me like dross from gold refined in a fire. I've been confessing him Lord ever since and Jesus has never left me, even though I left him for a time of being a prodigal son. But he just brought me back, put a beautiful robe on my back and a ring on my finger, and said, "Welcome home." Luke 15:11-32 (Prodigal Son) To know his love is to know him and have a desire to proclaim his name, Jesus. Selah! Jay D. Saunders
What does Jesus mean by "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you" in Jn 15:16? Choose-Greek: Eklegomi Strong's G 1586 1, to pick out, choose, to pick or choose out for one's self; A-Jesus choosing his disciples; B-choosing one for an office; C-of God choosing whom he judged fit to receive his favours and separated from the rest of mankind to be peculiarly his own and to be attended continually by his gracious oversight; D-of God the Father choosing Christians, as those whom he set apart from the irreligious multitude as dear unto himself, and whom he has rendered, through faith in Christ, citizens in the Messianic kingdom: (James 2:5) so that the ground of the choice lies in Christ and his merits only. Chosen Greek: Ekloge. Strong's G 1589: 1, the act of picking out, choosing; A-of the act of God's free will by which before the foundation of the world he decreed his blessings to certain persons; B-the decree made from choice by which God determined to bless certain persons through Christ by grace alone; C-God's elect. 2 Corinthians 2:13: "... God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth." We are saved by grace, that is it is not based on our works. God didn't choose those who would be saved because they would choose Him, but, rather, we who are saved chose God because He chose us by His grace in Christ before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4.) If God's choosing us was based upon our choosing Him then we have something to glory in, but we don't have anything to glory in because Romans 11 teaches that God elected (chose us) for salvation by His grace. God must choose to save a person and give him new birth before such a person can ever desire God on God's terms. You see we have a carnal mind which is at enmity with God and cannot even be subject to God (Romans 8:7). Before a person is born again that is all that he has - a carnal mind which is only free to think, will, and desire carnal things including carnal religion.
His choice of The Twelve was entirely free, did not arise from any character, motive, or condition in them: the allusion is to a custom of the Jews, the reverse of which Christ acted; with whom it was usual for disciples to choose their own masters, and not masters their disciples. Gill “It is not ye who chose me (Jesus).” But “I (Jesus) chose you,” as a king selects his officers, to fulfil My purposes. καὶ ἔθηκα ὑμᾶς, “and I set (or, appointed) you,” cf. 1 Corinthians 12:28, Acts 20:28. This King Jesus has chosen us! Some concept! It may mean, also, as Ben suggested, that He (Jesus) had "chosen them to salvation, through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth," 2 Thessalonians 2:13 I agree with Ben Jones Retired Professional Photographer in that God’s choosing us is a result of His grace. Unless Your grace had called me And taught my op’ning mind, The world would have enthralled me, To heav’nly glories blind. Jesus definitely chose The Twelve—this is born out in the New Testament. But He has also chosen all Christians; that we are “chosen” by God appears frequently in other NT texts (e.g., Rom 8:33; Eph 1:4ff.; Col 3:12; and 1 Pet 2:4).
Jesus chose His apostles according to His Fathers will. We are not saved until we believe the gospel. First Corinthians 1:1-4. The second we believe the gospel we are sealed by the Holy Spirit unto the day of redemption. Ephesians 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after ye heard the word of truth, the GOSPEL of your salvation in whom also AFTER ye believed, ye were sealed by that Holy Spirit of promise. We are not given the seal of the Holy Spirit until we believe the gospel. Ephesians 1:14 The Holy Sprit is our guarantee of eternal life. Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit in whom ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. The rapture of the church. Once we believe and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, we can no longer be condemned. John 3:18 John 6:47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me HATH EVERLASTING LIFE.
John 15:16 says "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." (NKJV). This text is part of Jesus' address to His disciples in John 15:9-17 but more significantly, a critical portion of His message that runs through the entire chapter of John 15. Jesus first uses the metaphor of the Vine to illustrate His relationship with His followers [John 15:1-8]. His followers are inextricably intertwined with Him, drawing from the nourishment of His word and the leading of His Spirit. The second passage [John 15:9-17] outlines His relationship with God the Father which He says is founded on divine love and obedience. Jesus perfectly obeyed the Father and submitted to His perfect will concerning Him. He came as God incarnate in order to fulfill God's divine purposes through the redemption plan. This relationship with the Father is cascaded to His disciples and followers. They are to love one another. This is the sacrificial brotherly love that is a reflection of God's love for us. It seeks nothing in return (cf. Luke 6:27-36). The third passage [John 15:18-25] cautions believers about the hatred that this evil world harbours against Jesus Christ and His followers. A true follower of Jesus will face scorn, ridicule and open hostility from the agents of Satan, the ruler of this wicke d world. They should however not despair but look to Him who went before us, having suffered and overcome this world. The closing passage of John 15:26-27 speaks of the witness of the Holy Spirit who will be sent by the Father. His ministry will complement that of the disciples. Let us now turn to our Scripture of context of John 15:16. What did Jesus mean by this statement? I would propose two ways by which to exposit this text. First, I would consider our response to the calling of God in Christ as part of God's choosing of us as believers. While this is not explicitly mentioned in the text, my view is that it is inescapably implied. No one can serve God unless they are first called by God into a loving covenant relationship with Jesus Christ. The second context relates to the gist of the statement - the commissioning of believers to Christian service. This can be naturally deduced from the text and the entire passage of John 15. Jesus was preparing His disciples for ministry. He knew that He won't be with them for long. It was important that they understood the joys and perils that awaited them in the ministry. Both dimensions are significant in outlining our relationship with Jesus Christ and our devotion and service to Him. In our past sinful state, we had no capacity to discern the things of God and make a rational choice for obedience. When the revelation of God was proclaimed to us through the gospel and we came to Christ, our spiritual eyes were opened and the burden of our Christian witness was more profoundly evident to us. It is instructive that Jesus first loved us and died for us while we were yet sinners [Romans 5:8). God therefore calls sinners through the gospel, transforms them and assigns them to ministry. We should heed His exhortations even as we serve Him. In the context of the above passage, Jesus confirmed that He had called and appointed His disciples into ministry. Jesus called each disciple in person and by name. Each disciple had a specific role during Christ's earthly ministry. Their primary calling was however tied to the preaching of the kingdom message. These roles were later expanded as the gospel spread beyond Jerusalem. A number of the disciples were assigned missionary work even as others took on apostolic oversight responsibilities for the growing churches. Some receded into obscurity and little is known about them beyond the narratives in the Gospels. Others were martyred.
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