Tag: chosen by Jesus
Scripture reading for April 27th: John 15
Grapes are one of the most widely cultivated crops in the world. There are many varieties and all require some care and tending to make them fruitful and keep them healthy. They provide food, juice, and wine. The branches are good for little because they are weak and bend easily. Jesus used this plant as an example for His disciples of how they must stay attached and produce fruit.
“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.” (John 15:1-4)
Jesus told them that He was the true vine and that they were the branches that were to produce the fruit. The Father was the gardener that pruned the branches that did not bear fruit. These branches were good for nothing but burning in the fire. (vs. 6) The branches that produced would also be pruned to make them even more fruitful. Branches must not think that they can produce fruit on their own. They must abide in the vine to draw the needed nutrients. Even so, disciples must stay attached to Jesus in order to produce fruit. They must submit to pruning to increase their yield. Not producing fruit is a bad option that yields being cut off! “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.” (John 15:16)
Scripture reading for May 26th: John 15:1-27
The teaching of Jesus about the Vine would have been a familiar theme to students of the Old Testament. In Isaiah 5:1-7 we have a prophetic song of the vineyard that spoke of Israel as the vineyard of the Lord and the men of Judah as His delightful plant. (Isaiah 5:7) God’s complaint was that the vine of Israel was unfruitful in obedience to the Lord because they broke His commands. Jesus, in this last night of teaching, stated that He was the true Vine and that His disciples were the branches.
“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.” This parable was very easy to understand in the Hebrew culture and in many cultures around the world because grapes are grown in many places. God is the Gardener and Jesus is the True Vine because He is the only begotten Son of God. He came in perfect obedience to the Father and would bear much fruit. God as owner of the Vineyard is looking for fruit and prunes the vine for maximum fruitfulness.
“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. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to My Father’s glory, that you produce much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.” (John 14:5-8) Jesus stressed the importance of abiding in Him. It was only through a relationship with Him that they would produce fruit. They would have access to ask the Father for whatever they needed, and God would grant it. What a promise to those who stayed attached!