Vines and BranchesListen
Article # one: Intro
Jesus called Himself a door (“I am the door”), bread (“I am the bread which came down from heaven”), light (“I am the light of the world”) and a vine (“I am the true vine”). We walk through Jesus the door to enter the Father’s kingdom, we eat the “bread of life” that we may have eternal life, we walk in the light to escape darkness, we attach ourselves to “the true vine” so we may bear fruit.
John 15 is the only chapter in John’s gospel that is entirely red ink. Jesus alone is speaking. Do you recall the words of Jesus as recorded in Matthew 7:24 – “Whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man.” John 15 is the pure words of our Teacher, and we would be wise to build our lives on what He is saying to us in this chapter.
Jesus directed these chapter 15 words to the twelve-minus-one after the Passover meal while Judas was about his nasty business of betrayal. However these words are also directed to each of us. It is important to see that, as Jesus was talking to them, He is talking to you whenever you read His words attentively. Otherwise the words would not have been recorded.
When Jesus said, “I am the vine, you are the branches,” Peter, for example, was to take this personal and realize from his Master’s perspective he, Peter, is a branch. Likewise you and I. From your Master’s perspective you are a branch. Jesus Christ calls you a branch and a branch is what you should consider yourself to be.
Jesus spoke John 15 to you as certainly as he spoke it to the eleven, as certainly as He spoke to anyone who is His. These words are not to the world but to the church. They are grand words, no words loftier, yours to be prized.
Jesus had been raised in practicality and knew about such things as shepherding and fishing and farming and agriculture, though apparently He was most familiar with carpentry. He was a man (Man) of the land who assimilated His surroundings. He not only noticed the widow who gave her last, He noticed the fig tree not bearing fruit and the healthy grape branches that did.
In this series we study His words, specifically verses one to eight. As John 3:16 is crucial to the world, so these words of John 15:1-8 are crucial to the church. Without the truths taught here, as taught elsewhere in various expressions, we cannot (cannot, cannot) bear good fruit. I strongly suggest you memorize these verses.
J O H N 1 5 : 1 – 8 :
- “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
- “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
- “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.
- “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
- “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
- “If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
- “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
- “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
C h a l l e n g e : This series of articles is about abiding. At this moment you are abiding in, receiving nourishment from, someone or something. Perhaps you are attached to more than one ‘vine’, even several. Who you are is a result of who you have been fastened to during your christian years. Your God is a jealous God, jealous for you and your affections. Your Master, your Teacher, your King, Your Lord speaks to you through John chapter 15. If you seriously consider His words, and make room in your life for His words, you will prosper. You will be different to the degree you embrace them.
P r a y e r : Jesus Christ, my Lord and my God, anoint the reader and anoint my words, in Your priceless name I pray. (And hopefully the reader says, “Amen!)