We’re going through the New Testament trying to understand the doctrine of the Trinity. Last night, we finished looking at John 14 and so tonight, we’re going to be starting our look at John 15. Our section tonight will be a little longer than others as we’re going to try to get in one section as a whole.
1“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.5“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
The old joke about this passage is that if we are de branches then Jesus must be “de-vine.” The joke is cute and the point is certainly true, but it only works in English. However, this does tell us something about Christ with him being the vine.
If you were a branch in a vine, you would depend entirely on the vine for your sustenance. If you were to be separated from the vine, then you could not be capable of producing. In fact, not only could you not produce, you would be incapable of any kind of life.
That’s the point of Christ. He is the vine and the Father is the gardener who is tending the vine. We are to be in him if we are to have any sort of life. Also, if we are not producing any fruit, then we are not true branches. I leave that to my readers to work out in the eternal security debate as I take no side in it and regardless of my side in it now, I have had both sides in the past.
Christ again gives the picture. He does not say that we are rooted in God, though he is overseeing all. He is saying that we are rooted in him. We can do nothing apart from him and we are incapable of producing any true fruit apart from him.
This again tells us how Christ saw himself. He saw himself as the one bringing salvation to the people and salvation was impossible apart from one’s relationship with him. No other prophet would have spoken of himself in that way. Jesus did.
So if we come this and we realize who Jesus is, this brings us to the question of how will we respond.
And that is for you to answer.