John chapters fifteen and sixteen record the last in-depth conversation that Jesus had with His disciples. It was time to leave the upper room, where they had shared the last supper together. Maybe they were gathering themselves together to leave, or they were already out on the road walking to Gethsemane. Jesus knew that His time had come to fulfil His purpose. In these last hours, Jesus said; “I am the true vine.”
This is the seventh I AM statement of Jesus. It brings to perfect completion His description of His ministry and purpose. It is the most intimate statement – spoken to those who were His closest disciples. In the final moments of Jesus’ earthly ministry He makes a plea to stay connected to Him!
I Am the True Vine and My Father is the Gardener
In the Old Testament Israel was often described as the vine, and God as the gardener. He was the One who cleared the ground in the Promised land to make space for Israel. The One who cared and nurtured His vine, so that they might spread and establish themselves throughout the land. God is the One who watched over them and prepared for a harvest. He looked for good grapes, the expected yield for a nurtured vine in fertile soil. But, God found only bad grapes.
God is the Gardener Bible Verse
Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and people of Judah, judge between me and my vineyard. What more could have been done for my vineyard than I have done for it? When I looked for good grapes why did it yield only bad?Isaiah 5:3-4 NIV
I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against me into a corrupt, wild vine?Jeremiah 2:21
Restore us, God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved. You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it, and it took root and filled the land.Psalm 80:7-9
The disciples would have been familiar with the imagery of Israel as the vine and God as the gardener. God speaks to us with familiar language, He connects and relates to where we are. The dream of every Israelite was to live in peace. To be settled in the land with the time to nurture and grow a vine. Sitting under the shade of your own grape vine was a symbol of security and prosperity. The best of times!
Jesus – I Am the True Vine
Jesus declared that He is the true vine. Israel should have been the true vine in God’s vineyard, true to the One who had planted, and nurtured them. But they had not remained faithful to God. Jesus is fully who He claimed to be, the true vine. The complete revelation of the truth of God’s word, and faithful to the Father.
Jesus, shortly, would demonstrate His surrender and submission to the Father’s will. The words that He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane, as He discerned that His time had come to suffer. Words of obedience and selfless love. Coming to the place of yielding to our Heavenly Father is never without cost. But it is there, in love and obedience, that our joy is made complete.
I Am the True Vine Bible Verse
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.John 15:1
Because of Israel’s rejection of Jesus, the true vine, He would become the Saviour of the world. The good news of Jesus Christ would spread out, from Jerusalem, to Judea, and to the ends of the world. Yielding in love and obedience the true vine would produce abundant fruit…..
What does the Parable of the Vine and Branches Mean?
In this parable, Jesus describes Himself as the true vine, and God the Father as the gardener. Those who are His disciples are the branches. The branches, spread away from each other to find their own space to flourish. But the branches all must remain connected to the vine, which is rooted in the ground and their life support.
The branches may be many, but they are all part of the one vine. No branch can survive on its own. There is an expectation that the branches will bear fruit. But also that they will be pruned to focus and direct their energy into being more fruitful. Those branches that don’t bear fruit will be cut off and removed.
The Vine and the Branches – Bible Gateway John 15:1-8
The fruit represents the developing of our Christian character, and service, as we abide in Christ. It is not achieved by merely applying moral discipline, or following a code of rules. We have liberty and freedom in Christ Jesus, and the discernment to know what is beneficial to strengthening our faith. Spiritual fruit is produced by co-working with the Holy Spirit, and being willing to submit to the Lord.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.Galatians 5:22-23
Stay Connected to the Vine
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.John 15:5
The message of the parable of the vine and the branches is a simple one. Jesus is our source of strength and support, without Him we are nothing and cannot do anything. When we stay connected to Him, and He is our focus and delight, spiritually we will flourish and thrive. This does not mean that we will never face problems or difficulties. But when we stay connected to Jesus, intimacy with Him changes everything.
When the teachings of Jesus, His words, remain in us, we can pray with confidence and authority. The word prayer means to ‘ask earnestly’. Staying connected to the vine, Jesus, means our prayers will be guided by the Holy Spirit. Spirit led prayers are answered for the glory of God.
Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.1 John 3:21-24
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