Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
JOHN 15:1-2 JESUS SAID I AM THE TRUE VINE, AND MY FATHER IS THE VINEDRESSER
John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
In this very controversial passage of Scripture we will see that Jesus is telling us that He is the true source of our spiritual and physical life. Ac 17:28 "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.' 2Peter 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue. Jesus is the source of it all and the Father is the one who will do the cutting (chastising in our life) when it is needed. The way a vine produces fruit is by cutting it back and it will produce more. God does the same thing in our life when He cuts away those unnecessary things out of our life so we can continue to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is talking about two groups of people here. One is the true Christians who when they are cut on bear more fruit and the false Christians who never bear any fruit. Mt 7:16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Israel is failing as the vine, Jer 2:21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine? 22 For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked before Me," says the Lord GOD. 23 "How can you say, 'I am not polluted, I have not gone after the Baals'? See your way in the valley; Know what you have done: You are a swift dromedary breaking loose in her ways,.
Joh 15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Jesus is what God wants Israel to be. This is telling us the need to change, to be different.
Ps 80:14 Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts; Look down from heaven and see, And visit this vine 15 And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, And the branch that You made strong for Yourself. 16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down; They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance. 17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.
2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Note the word “every,” used twice in this verse, so that “every” unfruitful branch is removed, just as “every” fruitful branch is cleansed or pruned. I believe that John intended for us to recognize this repetition of “every” as significant. The fact that “every” branch that does not bear fruit is removed seems to speak of one thing—the eternal destiny of the fruitless. All unbelievers will perish in the lake of fire, away from God’s presence (Revelation 20:11-15), while “every” true branch will go through various cleansings to make it more fruitful. The “every” in both instances presses me to conclude that Jesus is contrasting true believers and unbelievers. It is in these two instances that the destiny or experience of each is all-inclusive.
In our text, Jesus employs the imagery of a vine to describe the new relationship which His disciples are about to enjoy with Him and with the Father. Our Lord is the “vine”; unbelievers are the fruitless branches,[i] while believers are the fruit-bearing branches. The grapes are the “fruit” which God produces in and through the saints as they draw their life and strength from the “vine,” the Lord Jesus Christ. And God the Father is the gardener, who tends the vine, removing dead branches and purifying the living branches.
Jesus is speaking of those whom appear to be in Christ but are not, see also Lu 8:18 "Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him."
I believe the weight of the evidence falls on the side of that interpretation which concludes that the unfruitful branches are removed from the vine and destroyed.[ii] In much more blunt language, the unfruitful branches burn in the eternal fire of hell. If this is the case, then how do we explain the phrase “in Me” (verse 2)?
If you are a true Christian you will bear good fruit, Mt 7:16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? 17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 ¶ "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' 24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.. In John 15:2- He cleanses every branch. God does the pruning so that we might bear more fruit, see Matthew 7:19-20. It is not our job to be a self-appointed fruit inspector. God is committed in shaping the character of Jesus in us. God will use whatever it takes to get our attention.
Mark 4:1-20 The parable of the soils and seeds, only one bears fruit
Ro 11:17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.
Jewish branches were removed from the olive tree because of their unbelief, even as Gentile branches are grafted into the tree by faith.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” -John 8:32
The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.
[i] In the context, unbelieving Jews are in focus, but in its broader application “fruitless branches” would include all unbelievers, especially those who falsely suppose themselves to be true believers in God.
[ii] The best defense of this interpretation I have seen is that of James E. Rosscup, Abiding in Christ: Studies in John 15 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1973), pp. 248-249.
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