John 15:1-8 Abide In The Vine

by | Jun 6, 2024 | John, New Testament

I. Jesus, The True Vine V. 1

A. The Setting

1. The setting up this point has been the Upper Room, where the betrayal was announced, where Jesus washed the disciples’ feet, and where communion was instituted.
2. Jesus’ last words in chapter 14 were, “Arise, let us go from here”.
3. It appears they left the Upper Room, and began walking towards Gethsemane.
4. Jesus introduced a new topic: He Himself as the vine and His followers as the branches.

a. Some suggest that Jesus and the disciples were walking past vines around Jerusalem, and Jesus used the opportunity to speak metaphorically about vines and branches.
b. Others suggest that they were walking past the Temple. When Herod remodeled the Temple for the Jews, he had place an image or sculpture of a golden vine with grapes above the entrance doors to the Temple area.
c. Others suggest that Jesus was simply speaking from metaphors found in the Old Testament. God had often spoken of Israel as His vine and He as the vineyard owner.

B. Jesus: The True Vine

1. V. 1a- I am the true vine- Definite article before the word “true”. Jesus was the genuine vine, as opposed to the corrupted religiosity that Judaism had become.
2. V. 1b My Father is the vinedresser- The Father is the one that does the pruning, watering, harvesting, etc. Jesus is the vine to which the branches are connected.

II. Branches

A. Branches That Are Taken Away Vs. 2a, 6

1. V. 2a- Jesus said that there are branches “in Me” that are taken away.

a. Taken away- to raise up, elevate, lift, or…to remove or carry away.
b. Some suggest that those branches are “lifted up” so that they might bear fruit.
c. Others say that those branches are fruitless, and are carried away.
d. Are these branches that are connected to Jesus and fruitless?
e. “In Me”- not used adjectivally, but adverbially.

i. Not, “Every branch connected to me that doesn’t bear fruit…”.
ii. Rather, “Every branch that doesn’t bear fruit in me, because of me, through me”.

f. Jesus present two scenarios: branches connected to Him; branches not connected to Him

2. V. 6- The idea is repeated. Branches that are not connected to the vine wither and die.

a. They don’t have the life of the vine in them; they produce nothing from or for Jesus
b. Physically, they are considered dead wood. They have become disconnected from the life of the vine. They are physically dead, and are gotten rid of.

3. Spiritually, this speaks of the person who isn’t connected to Jesus, which is always a matter of choice. They refused to allow God to rule over their lives, they live apart from God, and there is no vital connection with God through Jesus Christ.
4. They may produce fruit, but it is bad fruit. (Matthew 7:17-19; 12:33; Romans 6:21, 22)
5. Grape branches are designed to hold fruit. That is why they exist. If they are unconnected from the vine, they have missed their purpose in life.
6. Every human being has been created by God, for God, and with God’s purposes over their lives. We all owe our existence to God, and to Him we should dedicate our lives.
7. They are burned- Matthew 25:41 Then He will also say to those on the left hand, ‘Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels:

B. Fruitful Branches

1. God’s goal for you is fruit, more fruit, and much fruit. (Vs. 2b, 5b)

a. He has the ability and the desire to make us fruitful people.
b. The fruitfulness of our life has a direct correlation to our choosing to abide in Him.

2. What fruit are we talking about? What is this fruit? They will be a desire for and an evidence of the following characteristics in the life of a Christian.

a. Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
b. Ephesians 5:9-11 (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), 10 finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.
c. Colossians 1:5-6 “…the word of the truth of the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth…”.
d. Hebrews 13:15 Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.

C. How Fruitfulness Comes

1. Fruitfulness comes from abiding. Abide- remain, continue to be present, not to depart.

a. Vs. 1, 2b- If you are connected, there will be life, and life will eventually bring fruit.
b. V. 2- Fruitfulness guarantees that pruning will eventually follow because connection is established and life is flowing into the branch from the vine.
c. V. 3- They were clean (connected) because they had believed the words of Jesus.
d. V. 4- It is impossible to live a life with Jesus if you are disconnected from Jesus.

i. You may live what appears to be a moral life, but it isn’t life with Jesus.
ii. A Christian life isn’t just a moral life, it is experiencing the life flow of Jesus in you.

e. V. 5- We can expect an increasingly fruitful life if we stay abide in Jesus. If we don’t abide in Jesus, we shouldn’t expect anything to be produced that would be connected to God’s Kingdom. We can do nothing (regarding God’s Kingdom) without Him.
f. V. 7- If we abide in Him and His words in us, we will be asking for that which he promises to give us. If His life is flowing into us, we will not ask for the wrong thing.
g. V. 8- This fruitful life is within the grasp of all of us. Jesus promises that we will bear much fruit, and will prove out connection with Him, and will bring glory to the Father.

2. V. 2b- Fruitfulness comes from pruning.

a. Pruning cuts away the dead and infectious parts of the grapevine. A branch infected with bacteria or insects can spread that infection to the rest of the plant and kill it.
Matthew 5:29-30 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell.
b. Pruning shapes the plant from a young age to gain healthy fruit production.
Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
c. Pruning cuts away sucker shoots. Unwanted growth that detracts from the fruitfulness.
d. Pruning includes something called “fruit drop”. After the grapes have grown on the vine, there are sometimes too many grapes. They compete for the nutrients of the vine. There is a high yield, but the grapes lack the desired flavor. The vinedresser will purposely remove grape clusters so that he will have not the highest quantity of fruit, but the highest quality of fruit. He removes the good so as to produce the best.