St. John’s Gospel (34): Jesus is the True Vine (John 15)
St John’s Gospel (34): Jesus is the True Vine (John 15)
John 15:1–8 - (A) “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. (B) 2 “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. (C) 4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. (A’) 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (B’) 6 “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. (C’) 7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
(A) Stay in the True Vine v1 (A’) Stay in the True Vine (and He abides in us) v5
(B) Branches not Fruitful v2 (B’) Branches not Abiding (dry up and are burned) v6
(C) Abide in the Vine to be Fruitful v4 (C’) Abide in the Vine to be Fruitful (through prayer) vv7-8
Persevere in Jesus. Jesus fulfills Israel’s role to be God’s fruitful vine (Ps. 80:8; Isa. 5:1-7; Jer. 2:21; 6:9; Ezek. 15). Jesus is the true source of fruitfulness and abundance. Jesus provides the life we need. We have no means of true life apart from Him. Abiding in Him requires obedience (v10), especially in sacrificially loving one another (v12-13, 17). We must persevere in trusting Him, which John calls “abiding” or remaining, or dwelling in Him.
Pray According to Jesus’s Word. As in ch. 14, Jesus invites them to believe and act on this through prayer which “asks” the Father “in His name” (v16b). He says, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (v7). This call to fruitful prayer rests on abiding in Him and His word abiding in us (Col. 3:16). We must show our abiding in Him by asking according to His word.
Produce Fruit as a Disciple. Jesus taught His disciples that He is the vine and His Father is the Gardener. The “garden” or vineyard is not decorative, but is to provide fruit. John 15 calls us to bear fruit. Bearing fruit shows that we are becoming His disciples (v8). This was His purpose in choosing the disciples (v16): “that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” We must pursue fruitfulness as disciples of Christ.
Persevere - what is keeping you from abiding/dwelling in?
Pray - what is holding you back from effective prayer?
Produce fruit - what is preventing you from fruit?
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more