Jesus is referring to Himself to as a vine. This is a perfect analogy for anyone living in this culture because vines were a very big part of their lives. As Jesus explains about Him being the vine and His followers being the branches you can just feel the magnitude of what Jesus was saying. Those who bear no fruit will be cut away from the vine and burned up. From this we can understand that there must be visual works being done in the body of Christ. That just lip service is never enough, that just talking about living 4 God, 4 people, 4 the world is meaningless unless there are actions being taken be every Christ-follower on the planet. After that Jesus said that He has told them this for their joy. The Joy that only He can provide will be the joy that will usher them all into tomorrow. This Joy will be their Hope.
Then Jesus shares His heart with them. He says that no greater love has anyone then to lay down his life for a friend. He calls them all friends if they do what He has commanded of them. He moves them from the realm of disciple (servant) to friend. They now know everything and are ready to go forth and do in His name.
Because of all this, the world hates Jesus, and they will hate the Disciples, and guess what? They will hate you as well. If nobody misunderstands you, or dislikes you, or thinks you are off your rocker then maybe you are not separating yourself from the world. If the world hated Jesus, and the world hates those who follow Jesus, but loves you then it may be time for some self-evaluation. Chapter 15 is very special to me because this is where we got the name of The Vine Community Church. It speaks volumes about how we should be following Jesus.
My prayer for all of us is that we spend time this next week living for a risen Savior.