You can click HERE to read the passage.
There is a lot to be pondered in this passage. I will only comment on one thing. (I will, however, be preaching on this passage next Sunday, August 17 at RBC). This passage starts off with the last of what is known as the “I AM” statements of Jesus in the Gospel of John. There are 8 of them. Here they are…
John 6: 35, 48 – I am the bread of life
John 8: 12, 9:5 – I am the light of the world
John 8: 58 – Before Abraham was, I am
John 10:9 – I am the door
John 10:1 – I am the good shepherd
John 11:25 – I am the resurrection and the life
John 14:6 – I am the way, the truth, and the life
John 15:1 – I am the true vine
Each of these in and of themselves are outrageous claims. This last statement, “I am the true vine,” would bring to mind a few references from the Older Testament. Both Psalm 80 and Isaiah 5 would no doubt have immediately sprung to the minds of Johns’ listeners. In the OT the vine represented Israel. The vine was loved by God, “the garden of His delight” (Is 5:7), but it was a wayward and unproductive vine, a vine doomed to destruction.
Jesus’ statement here in John 15 was a blatant Messianic claim. It was also a claim that would bring much needed encouragement to His disciples. He was getting them ready to live life and be on mission without His immediate presence. They were distraught and discouraged by this thought. But He was telling them that as long as they continued to abide in Him, whether He was with them physically or not, that they would be fruitful (v. 5), that they would see great answers to prayer (v. 7) , and that they would experience complete joy (v. 11).
It seems to me that those are great reasons for us to figure out how we can do a better job of daily, moment by moment, abiding in Him as well!
“Father, would You remind me all over again that apart from You I can do nothing. And as I learn to abide in You, would You indeed fuel me with Your joy, allow me to see great answers to prayer, and make my life and ministry more fruitful than it has ever been.”
Next Week – John 15:1-17