Jesus, the True Vine
Comments for Study 20
Key verse: 15:5
BEFORE READING PLEASE CLICK HERE TO ANSWER THE QUESTIONS.
1-4 Life Relationship
5-8 Bearing Fruit
9-17 Kind of Fruit
18-27 Relationship with the World and Jesus
I. "I am the Vine; You are the Branches" (1-8)
>1. What do verses 1 through 5 reveal about the relationship between God and his children? (Isa. 5:1-7, Jer. 2:21 for the Old Testament background of this parable.)
* "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He 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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain 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. 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." (1-5)
* Isaiah 5:1-5 "I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit. "Now you dwellers in Jerusalem and men 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? Now I will tell you what I am going to do to my vineyard: I will take away its hedge, and it will be destroyed; I will break down its wall, and it will be trampled."
* Jeremiah 2:21 "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?"
* Isaiah 5, Jer. 2:21, and Psalm 80:8-11 are allegories that reveal God had/has a vine and branch relationship with Israel.
* Israel and Judah were to produce fruit. They did not. They failed to fulfill their purpose. Now Jesus is the vine. He did what Israel could not and would not do. He produced fruit. Jesus is the true vine.
* a. God the Father is the gardener and owner. (1)
b. Fruit Bearing
b.1. They are in each other. (4)
b.2. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. (5)
b.3. The vine gives water and nourishments to the branches. Inseparable.
b.4. Branches use nourishments to produce fruit.
c. It is a trimming relationship.
* Romans 11:17-24.
* John 14:31 records Jesus saying, "Come now let us leave." Chapters 15-17 continue Jesus teaching the disciples and then praying for them. 18:1 says, "When he had finished praying, Jesus left with his disciples and crossed the Kidron Valley with his disciples." Perhaps it took them a while to leave, or he hesitated to teach some more, or leaving means Jerusalem and not the upper room.
* This is a continuation of Jesus discussion at the end of chapter 14. They are connected.
>In what respect does the vine and branch relationship describe our relationship with Jesus? (1,5)
* "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He 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." (1)
* "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." (5)
* Jesus gives us life and sustains it.
* No relationship means eventual death. Like a cut flower in a vase.
* All good things come from God above. Jesus gives us what we need to live.
* Jesus is the true vine.
* Close and personal relationship.
* We can be God's instrument to give life only when we are attached and nourished by Jesus.
>What does it suggest about the importance of commitment?
* If we don't keep a commitment we will be thrown into the fire, hell. (6)
* A branch is either on the vine or not on the vine. It is a matter of life or death for the branch. It is it's own choice. That's why Jesus said, "Remain in me."
* Mind and heart is where a commitment is made. The body may remain, but yet one isn't committed if the body remains. Judas Iscariot is an example.
* As followers of Jesus, connected to him in a life and love relationship, our actions towards others is to help them get connected to Jesus, to have a personal relationship with him. We shouldn't expect change before this, only after.
>What are the consequences if we break this relationship? (6)
* "If 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." (6)
* They go to hell in the end. They become firewood.
* First they wither and live a fruitless life.
>3. What are the two kinds of branches that God either cuts off or trims clean? (2)
* "He 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." (2)
* No fruit is cut off only the branch. In chapter one John says he is life to all. These branches are the Jews who rejected Jesus, the Messiah. They were cut off.
* Fruitful is trimmed. These are the apostles and other disciples who accepted Jesus as the Messiah. For us it is all who accept Jesus as their personal Savior, Lord, and Lover.
>Why is this done?
* He trims to help us bear even more fruit. (2)
* This is eventually for the Father's glory. (8)
* The branch doesn't know what is necessary to help it bear fruit and what should be cut. Only the gardener. He does it.
* Sometimes up to 90% of the branch is trimmed. This concentrates the energy from the vine to producing fruit.
* Verse 2 implies that they may have been pruned before, but need new pruning. This would be true for the apostles.
* 1 John 8:9
>What does this pruning and trimming mean practically to a disciple?
* Trimming sin from our hearts and lives.
* This is God's training.
* Every year a grape vine needs to be trimmed.
* As a vine grows unfruitful branches grows.
* We are cleansed every day by the word. (3)
> Why do those who believe in Jesus need this trimming?
* So they can bear fruit.
* When we accept Jesus it is only a beginning. We must and will grow if we remain in Jesus. We will be trimmed.
* So we don't waste effort, nourishment and time.
* Trimming can be painful.
* Trimming is only for the true believer in Jesus.
>4. Read verse 3.
* "You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you." (3)
>What is the function of the word of God in the life of a disciple? (1 Pet. 1:23)
* "For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God." (1 Pet. 1:23)
* It cleans our souls.
* We are made a new-born again.
* John 17:17.
* Hebrews 4:12
* The Holy Spirit moves us as we study Jesus' word, the Bible. We will read truths that will reveal things in our lives, heart, mind, and action that must be removed. This can be painful depending on how much we love those things. Our God is a jealous God. He wants our love to be for him alone.
>5. Read verses 4 though 6.
* "Remain 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. 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. If 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." (4-6)
>What does it mean to remain in Jesus? (7; Col. 2:6,7)
* "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you." (7)
* "So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness." (Col. 2:6-7)
* Follow his word-commands. (7)
* Believe in his words.(7)
* Accept Jesus, his words and life style.
* These are all continuous in our relationship with him. (Col. 2:6,7)
* Thankful heart.
>What does Jesus promise to those who remain in him?
* What ever we ask, it will be given to us. (7)
* Bear much fruit.
>What happens when we try to be fruitful without Jesus?
* Either we will bear no fruit, or the fruit we will bear will not last to the end.
* Tired and frustrated.
>6. How many times is the word "fruit" repeated in verses 1-8?
* Seven which indicated fruitful. Proves it is important.
* Fruit is pleasing in many ways.
* There are different kinds of fruit that God is looking for.
1) Spiritual (Gal. 5:21) We grow in Jesus' image.
2) Physical. (1 Thes. 2:19-20) Those we lead to Christ and help grow.
3) Physical. (Gen. 1:28) Children.
* Luke 16:9.
* Phil. 4:8-9.
>Why is it so important to bear much good fruit? (8; Gen. 1:28)
* It brings glory to God. (8)
* God commands it. (Gen. 1:8)
* It shows that we are his disciples. (8)
* This fruit must be and will be lasting.
* To bear fruit we need to be trimmed, remain in Jesus, and his words, and pray. (2,4-5,7) All are needed.
II. "Now Remain in my Love" (9-17)
>7. Read verses 9 and 10.
* "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love." (9,10)
* Verses 9-12 are very logical.
>How did God love Jesus?
* As a Father would a son. (9a) Jesus called God his Father.
* In the context of this chapter, it was also a vine and gardener relationship.
* The gardener (Father) wants the vine (Jesus) to be very fruitful.
&pt;How did Jesus show love for the disciples?
* As his Father loves him; with divine love.
* Our first fruit is love of God, for God. Second fruit is obey Jesus' words.
* He feed them.
* He cared for them.
* He helped them have and grow in faith.
* In chapter 15 Jesus taught that he and his disciples have a life relationship that will never be broken.
>How did Jesus remain in God's love?
* He obeyed his Father. (10b)
>What, then, does it mean to remain in Jesus' love?
* To obey Jesus' commands. (10a)
* FRUIT RECEIVED
Jesus / US
Father's Love / Jesus' love
Obey Father/ Obey Jesus
Father's Joy / Jesus' Joy
Jesus Love Us / We Love Brothers
>What happens when we remain in Jesus' love and bear fruit with the love of God? (11)
* "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." (11)
* Our joy may be complete; joy in the heart. (11) There are many reasons to be joyful. Outwardly our life may have all kinds of trouble, but we still can have the "peace that passes all understanding" and we "can be content in any and every situation."
* This implies that we will bear fruit.
Spiritual content - love each other
Spiritual attitude - Obey Jesus' word
Spiritual fruit - joy and thanksgiving (Gal. 5:22-25)
* Our cross may not be the same on the outside, we may not die on the cross, we may not even be a martyr.
>8. What did Jesus teach us about how to bear the fruit of love more specifically? (12-13, 17)
* "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." (12-13)
* "This is my command: Love one another." (17)
* "each" -Jesus' disciples. Love each other. Ours is sometimes a labor of love as Jesus' was.
* He also taught this in chapter 13.
* Our love relationship with Jesus affects others.
>How did Jesus bear the fruit of love? (13)
* "Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends." (13)
* He laid down his life for us.
* 1 John 3:16-20.
* Col. 1:5-6
* Jesus is the standard for our life.
>How can we be Jesus' friends? (14)
* "You are my friends if you do what I command." (14)
* Do what he commands. In chapter 15 this is love one another.
* Why only love? Because love for God and other sums up all the commands.
>What does it mean to be a friend of Jesus? (15)
* "I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master's business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you." (15)
* We know everything that he learned from the Father.
* Jesus' business is creating, shepherding, salvation and judgement.
* We will help the flock, bear fruit.
* It is God who chose us. (16, Eph. 2:8-9)
* All tied by love.
IV. "If the World Hates You" (18-27)
>9. Why are Jesus' disciples hated? (18-21)
* "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: 'No servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me." (18-21)
* "The world" refers to people not of Jesus. (6)
* Jesus chose us out of the world. We don't belong in the world any more. (19)
* Because of Jesus name. (21)
* They don't know God. (21)
* We will not always be hated by people in the world. Jesus' wasn't always hated.
* A Christian life is not easy.
* Sometimes they can sight a reason why they hate.
>What must we do when we are persecuted? (18, 20, 27)
* "When the Counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father, he will testify about me; but you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning." (26-27)
* Remember Jesus and his words in 18-21. Keep them in mind. (20)
* Testify about Jesus. (27)
* Depend on the Holy Spirit.
* No one is expect from this. (20)
* Persecution is physical, verbal, socially, and mental.
* We should not expect to be treated greater than Jesus.
>What does Jesus do for us?
* He sends us the Holy Spirit. (26, Acts 1:8)
* Depend on the Holy Spirit.
>What happens to those who hate Jesus and his disciples? (22-23)
* "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well." (22-23)
* They are guilty without excuse.
* The world hates Jesus because they hate his Father and his words expose their guilt. (21-22,24)
* Jesus exposes sin through his words. (22,26-27)
* Hating Jesus is a matter of death.
* They hate Jesus and us without reason. (25)
* Their hatred of Jesus, proves his authenticity because it fulfils the law. (25)