8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
8 By this
The words “by this” point forward to “that you bear much fruit,” not back to the previous context. Fruit that adorns a child of God will reflect on God’s glory.
My Father is glorified,
Answered prayer glorifies the Father, a prayer that is consistent with the “words” of Christ. Bearing “much fruit” completes giving the Father glory (aorist tense).
that you bear much fruit;
The main mission of those who follow Christ is to produce as much fruit as possible to glorify the Father. Since we cannot produce fruit by ourselves—that is, without abiding in Christ—drawing on His resources glorifies God because God does it. If God does the doing, then God gets the glory.
so you will be My disciples.
Those who pray in the will of God are manifestly Jesus’ disciples; they show evidence of it. Bearing fruit shows we are disciples. Discipleship is not something static but dynamic. It continues to develop as we appropriate what Jesus has to offer. The apostles still had a great way to go as disciples of Christ. To continue to produce fruit by the application of Christ’s principles to our lives is not a condition of discipleship but a consequence of it, evidence of it.
The word “be” means to become. The idea here is spiritual growth; we become spiritually mature by drawing on resources from the Lord. Spirituality is an absolute, but maturity is relative. There are degrees of discipleship. The apostles were to become more and more disciples in their character.
If God does the doing, then He gets the glory.
Our ultimate purpose in life is to glorify God. We do this by producing “much fruit.” This is our paramount priority in life. We must keep it before us or we will stray from glorifying God with our lives.
There is a direct connection between how we pray and the priority we put in life. Jesus’ way of life must permeate our orientation to life. It must lodge in our minds so as to influence the direction of our lives. Letting Jesus’ words abide in us will govern both our attitudes and actions.