Jesus the true vine

JESUS THE TRUE VINE

IMAGE OF JESUS

JESUS IS THE TRUE VINE 

John 15: 1 – 17 THE TRUE VINE AND THE BRANCHES

Down through Jewish history, the vine became the symbol of Israel. During the Macabees period of history, the symbol of the vine was on the coins of Israel. It was over the main doors of the synagogues. Josephus in describing Herod’s Temple in Jesus’ days, “Under the crown – work was spread out a golden vine, with its branches hanging down from a great height, the largeness and the workmanship of which were an astonishing sight to the spectators” (Antiquities of the Jews, 5.5.4).

The prophet Ezekiel reminds us the vine is good for nothing except to bear fruit. The vine was a symbol of the spiritual relationship between God and Israel. The fruit of righteousness was to honor and glorify God. The crooked, dwarf is worthless wood as fuel because it flames up like paper and is gone instantly. You could not use it to make furniture. It was too soft and no good for lumber. You cannot use it as a tent peg because it crumbles or flexes when you hit it. It fulfills only one purpose by bearing rich, delicious fruit. Israel was a wild, rotten grape. Ezekiel tells us she was ripe for the great winepress of the wrath of God (Ezekiel 15:1–6; 19:10–14).

THE PURPOSE OF THE VINE (15:2)

The purpose of the vine is to bring forth fruit. The whole emphasis of the allegory of the vine is fruit bearing. God expected Israel to produce luscious, beautiful, rich choice grapes of righteousness. She produced sour, rotten, stinking, tasteless grapes. God was looking for justice and righteousness; instead he found oppression, cruelty, exploitation of men. Jesus said the purpose of the vine was “that it may keep on bearing more and more fruit”.

God expects the fruit of the Holy Spirit produced in our lives. Only Jesus living in us can produce the fruit of the Spirit. God expects to see likeness to Jesus Christ. He examines our lives and expects to see love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, and self–control. The fruit is Christ–likeness. The fruit is the righteousness of God in the heart. It is the likeness of Christ.

THE PRINCIPLE OF FRUITFULNESS (15:4–8)

Jesus looks for His own life reproduced in us. He wants to reproduce the life of the Vine in the branches. He tells us the secret in verses four and five, “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. 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.” The single most important thing in your life is an intimate, abiding love relationship with Jesus Christ. This is our responsibility in our position in Christ. “You in Me, and I in you.” That was the kind of life Jesus had with the Father while He was here on the earth. It is an intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit who lives within us. The Apostle Paul used the expression “in” Christ to communicate this same vital connection that exists between Christ and the believer. The basic relationship is already established by the coming of the Holy Spirit into the believer’s life.

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

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