The True Vine
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away;[a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 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.
5 “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. 6 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. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[b] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Love and Joy Perfected
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 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.
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.
My pastor spoke on this piece of Scripture on Sunday. If you actually look at the Greek for the phrase in verse 1, the Greek for “takes away” has many meanings actually, one of which that actually fits better is, gathers up. Like a vinedresser gathers up the vines off the ground and ties them up so they can become fruitful and not on the ground. If you look at this piece of scripture and see that if you are producing fruit, that is if you are producing a group of people that follow Christ, you might at times get pruned. Pruning is just that, it’s trimming back, and sometimes it isn’t fun and kinda hurts. Pastor Jesse posed the question that I’ll pose to you, “are you rebuking the pruning shears of God?” Are you mad and rebuking the times when God might just be pruning you to have you be more fruitful? Then we look at abiding. What does it mean to abide? Abiding means “to remain.” Abiding looks like this: reading your Bible and thinking on it as much as possible, spending time in prayer for others and your world, and ministering to others around you. The results of abiding look like this: 1. You will pray! (pray big prayers) 2. You will bear more fruit 3. Abiding produces life. The piece of scripture goes into telling about prayers being answered. Prayers are answered when we’re abiding in Christ, and our hearts are in the place that they need to be. Pastor Jesse made this statement about praying being answered: “Your prayer will be answered when the most glory will be given to Him and you’re greatest joy will be filled.” What a thought. My prayers will be answered when the most glory will given to God and when I will receive the most joy. Verse twelve thru the end of the chapter talks about loving. Great love = Great Sacrifice. There is no greater way to love than to sacrifice. Think about that, there is no better way to show love for another person, or to love them, than to sacrifice of yourself for them. Wow, that’s a lot to think on. I’ll leave you with this: Do what Christ has commanded us to do, love sacrificially.
Really quick little note: Grapes don’t like too rich of soil, they also like rocks in the soil. We are compared to vine branches and vines. Think about this: the Apostle Peter tells us that hard times produce the best stuff in us. Isn’t that an interesting correlation?