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Jesus Is the Vine-We Are the Branches

John 15:1-11 (NASB)

This is another of Jesus analogies that involve commonly used items of the time. He often uses plant or farming metaphors because it was what they understood. They worked in the fields of vegetables, or grains as farmers or in the groves of olives, figs and pomegranates and they worked in the vineyards. They also worked with cattle and sheep and many in the region were fishermen. He was always conscious of who He was talking to and knew the right analogy in which they would be able to relate. Jesus was not just a random thinker who just voiced random thoughts. You would have to be there or at least read the context of the situation he was in to understand where he comes up with His thoughts and analogies. Looking back to chapter 13 we see he is in the upper room for Passover meal, (the last supper) with his disciples. In Chapter 13 as supper was over, Jesus already knowing what was to come, knew that Satan had come over Judas for him to betray Christ. Jesus was not yet greatly concerned for his own death to come as he would be later, while he sweat blood praying in the garden. His thoughts and concerns were with his disciples. He took a towel, laid aside his garments and girded himself. Jesus began to wash the feet of his disciples, they didnt understand the meaning of this yet as Peter protested that Jesus would wash his feet instead of the other way around. Jesus told him that he would come to understand, if Jesus did not wash him, he would have no part of Jesus. Jesus washed their feet and told them that they are completely clean, but not all of them. Jesus was referring to the 11 fruitful vines and the 1 Judas vine. Jesus must have had his disciples in mind when he made these statements in chapter 15. Jesus called Judas out in front of the other disciples and told him, What you do, do quickly.

"I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser

Jesus made 7 I am statements in Johns gospel, this being the last time. The previous I am statements were in (1) the bread of life (John 6:36); (2) the light of the world (John 8:12); (3) the door (John 10:9); (4) the good shepherd (John 10:11); (5) the resurrection and the life (John 11:25); and (6) the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6). As the seven I ams affirm His deity, the signs (John 20:30, 31) confirm it.
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.

The vine was often used as a metaphor for Israel in the Old Testament, but it had become unproductive, (Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 2:21). Without the proper pruning, grapevines become unproductive and crow chaotically. Israel had often sinned against God, turning their backs on Him and refusing His pruning which resulted in their sinfulness and unproductivity. Jesus has replaced Israel as the vine, He is the true vine, which never withers or becomes unproductive. When a vine becomes unproductive it withers away and is cut out of the vineyard. Jesus is the only true vine without corruption, the eternal vine. All who are in Christ are connected to this vine, the church, therefore all connected to each other through Christ Jesus. Jesus Father, our Father which art in heaven, God is the vinedresser.
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.

The imagery of the branches that did not bear fruit would be those that professed to be Christian, but fell away because it was not a genuine salvation, the Judas vine. The branches that bore fruit are the true believers that can only be saved by the true vine Jesus Christ such as the 11 disciples. When growing grapes you cut off the branches that are

withered and dead which makes for a healthier plant. There are also thin branches that grow off of the branches that bear fruit, they are called the suckers. The suckers take valuable nutrients from the growing branches, so the vinedresser prunes them away so the fruit will be more plentiful. God, prunes us just as the vinedresser prunes the vines. He chastises us to cut away the sin and other things that keep us from growing closer to Him and producing more fruit. We often try to avoid Gods pruning and try to do things on our own or in our own understanding. We might have friends that are holding us back or being a bad influence on our lives. We might tell ourselves that we are trying to reach them for Christ, while God is trying to prune them out of our lives. We sometime watch things on television that we shouldnt , or find ourselves telling off-color jokes. Gods pruning is what keeps us grounded and centered and the fruit we produce helps feed us spiritually as well as others.
You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4Abide 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.

The verb abide is the same in the Greek as continue or remain, which would show that salvation has already taken place and not vice versa. Since you continue to abide in Christ, the evidence of your fruit will continue to show. There are various types of fruit that Christians produce. There is the nine fold fruit of the spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23), as well as the fruit of righteousness (Philippians 1:11; Hebrews 12:11). There is also the act of walking a Christian walk and striving to emulate Jesus in your everyday life. A fruitful Christian life should be evidenced by the world around us.

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.

In the phrase apart from Me you can do nothing, here the word can is the Greek dunamai indicating have the power to. Jesus makes the point that there is no power on our own, all power comes through Him. We would not have the power or authority to pray in his name or to speak with the authority of a believer. All spiritual power comes from Christ. We would not have the ability to think and act morally, we would all be corrupt without the power of Christ within us. He gives us the power to come to Him and ask whatever we wish and it will be done. That does not mean a blank check for all our earthly wants, but when we are in tune with the Spirit and asking in the will of God, there is no limit to what He would or could do for us.
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.

Those who do not abide in Him will be thrown out to dry up and be thrown into the fire. This is a picture of the prophecy in Revelation (Revelation 20:15) where all the unbelievers will be cast into the lake of fire, where they will suffer eternal agony, not just from the lake of fire, but from the eternal separation from God. II Thessalonians 1:8-9 tell of Christs vengeance on those that do not know Him. Verse 9 (KJV) says, Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and form the glory of His power.
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. 9 Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. 10If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. 11These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

To abiding in Christ is to live by His commands, just as He lives by Gods commands. This is how we show our love for Jesus, by making His words and commands alive within us which will become an outward expression of fruitfulness. Just as Jesus kept the Fathers commandments abiding in Gods love, we are to abide in Christ keeping His commandments thus abiding in His love. Jesus perfectly followed the Fathers commandments as an example to show us that we are to follow His commandments. Just as Jesus experienced the full joy of abiding in the Father, He wishes for us to abide in Him and experience that great joy that is only made full through Him.