John 15:16 Meaning of You Did Not Choose Me, but I Chose You

John 15:16
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”

Explanation and Commentary of John 15:16

This verse comes at the end of the great discourse on the vine and the branches. Jesus has urged his disciples to remain in Him because that is the way are designed to bear fruit. Beyond being saved and going to Heaven someday, it seems that the goal of Christian life is to bear fruit.

Jesus says that the disciples were chosen by him and for a purpose. He is not speaking only about his choice of the twelve, but about the grace of God for salvation. The elect are saved by grace and will continue to move forward in grace, abiding in union with Christ and bearing the fruit of the Spirit and the continuation of Jesus’ ministry in the Church. One result is that the followers of Jesus will be effective in prayer.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of John 15:16

#1 “You did not choose me, but I chose you…”
God has given free will to humans, and we will be held accountable for our choices. Nevertheless, apart from God’s grace, because of our sinful nature, we would be unable to see the Kingdom of God and come to God apart from His grace for regeneration (Jn 3:3).

#2 “…and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit”
Not only did God choose you to be his child, giving you a new heart (Ez 36:26), and making you a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), he has appointed you to bear fruit. This partly refers to the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) as our character is transformed more and more into the image of Christ, but more specifically here he seems to be speaking of ministry fruit. Disciples are called to allow Jesus to work through them to continue his work of saving the lost and training disciples (Mat 28:16-20).

#3 “—fruit that will last…”
The kind of fruit that will not last is that which was not the result of God’s work and power. There are many underhanded methods of bringing people into the church (2 Cor 4:2). Coercive leadership, easy believism, a false message are only a few of them. Whatever is not of God will not last. Like Paul, we should pray that our work, when tested at the judgment, will not burn up like straw (1 Cor 3:15).

#4 “…and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”
It is a powerful truth that when everything aligns—your faith, God’s will, your abiding in Christ, and Jesus’ purpose—God will move you to ask, give you the faith, and answer your prayer in the affirmative. Seek to abide in the Vine and pray always.

Bible Study on John 15:16

Expert Overview of John Ch. 13-21

Biblical Translations of John 15:16

NIV
“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”

NLT
“You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.”

ESV
“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.”

KJV
“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 to you.”

NKJV
“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.”

John 15:16 Meaning and Commentary

Author Bio
Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Masters Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.