Jesus’ Teachings – I Am The True Vine, Part 2
In this post, Steph Beth Nickel continues to share from Jesus’ teachings found in the gospel of John chapter 15. In this chapter Jesus is quoted as saying, “I am the true vine.” Stephanie discusses the significance and implications of this statement.
I Am The True Vine
I would once again like to read the first eleven verse of John 15:1-11 (ESV)
“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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
If we dwell on what we perceive to be negative verses in the Bible, we will get a distorted perception of God. If we only focus on those verses that we see as uplifting and encouraging, we won’t get a complete picture either, but today I do want to focus on those incredible verses we find in this passage.
What positive things do we learn from these eleven brief verses?
The Father will prune the fruitful branches in order to make them more fruitful. (Followers of Jesus who abide in Him are those branches.)
Our lives are guaranteed to be fruitful if we abide in Jesus. God will be glorified and others will be blessed. As Jesus’ said, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” As we mentioned yesterday, He is the vine, our Source and our Supply.
Just a quick reminder . . . to truly abide in Jesus, we must confess our sins and accept Him as our Saviour and Lord. We must accept what He did for us by dying on Calvary’s cross and rejoice that He rose victorious over sin and death when He come forth from the tomb. We must study the Bible regularly, pray, and fellowship with other believers.
If we abide in Jesus and His Word abides in us, we can come “with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need,” as it says in Hebrews 4:16.
God Is Not Santa Claus
As has often been said, we are not to treat God like Santa Claus, expecting Him to give us a long list of things that we desire only for selfish purposes.
And yet, as we get to know Him better and as He transforms our motives and our desires, He will indeed be glorified as He answers the prayers we offer that are in-keeping with His will. (Just another quick aside . . . we don’t have to wait until we’re sure our prayers are perfect before going before God. We just have to be willing to be transformed more and more into the likeness of Jesus.)
And it all comes back to fruit-bearing. As we pray and God answers, we will bear more fruit and it will be increasingly-evident to others that we are Christ’s disciples, His followers, branches connected to the One True Vine.
And the next portion of this passage deserves a great deal of attention. Jesus said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.” Just how did the Father love His sinless Son? Completely, without hesitation, abundantly, perfectly. And that’s how Jesus loves His followers.
And why did He make all these promises—and issue all the warnings He did in this passage and others? “That [His] joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Promises of perfect love and complete joy . . . those are well worth committing to memory. And by the power of God’s Holy Spirit, they will transform us for all eternity.
Stephanie is a freelance writer and a contributor to our Christian internet radio station, HopeStreamRadio.
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Images courtesy of:
Grapes – Microfoto
Vines – Silke Rabung