I Am the True Vine 15 1 “I am the r true vine, and my Father is s the vinedresser. 2 t Every branch in me that does not bear fruit u he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, v that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already w you are clean x because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 y Abide z in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine; a you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that b bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in me c he is thrown away like a branch and withers; d and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If e you abide in me, and my words abide in you, f ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 g By this my Father is glorified, that you h bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 9 i As the Father has loved me, j so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 k If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as l I have kept m my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, n that my joy may be in you, and that o your joy may be full. 12 p “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 q Greater love has no one than this, r that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are s my friends t if you do what I command you. 15 u No longer do I call you servants, 1 for the servant 2 w does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for x all that I have heard from my Father y I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but z I chose you and appointed you that you should go and a bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that b whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, c so that you will love one another.
15 1 Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος ἡ ἀληθινὴ καὶ ὁ πατήρ μου ὁ γεωργός ἐστιν. 2 πᾶν κλῆμα ἐν ἐμοὶ μὴ φέρον καρπὸν αἴρει αὐτό, καὶ πᾶν τὸ καρπὸν φέρον καθαίρει αὐτὸ ἵνα καρπὸν πλείονα φέρῃ. 3 ἤδη ὑμεῖς καθαροί ἐστε διὰ τὸν λόγον ὃν λελάληκα ὑμῖν• 4 μείνατε ἐν ἐμοί, κἀγὼ ἐν ὑμῖν. καθὼς τὸ κλῆμα οὐ δύναται καρπὸν φέρειν ἀφʼ ἑαυτοῦ ἐὰν μὴ μένῃ ἐν τῇ ἀμπέλῳ, οὕτως οὐδὲ ὑμεῖς ἐὰν μὴ ἐν ἐμοὶ μένητε. 5 ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος, ὑμεῖς τὰ κλήματα. ὁ μένων ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ οὗτος φέρει καρπὸν πολύν, ὅτι χωρὶς ἐμοῦ οὐ δύνασθε ποιεῖν οὐδέν. 6 ἐὰν μή τις μένῃ ἐν ἐμοί, ἐβλήθη ἔξω ὡς τὸ κλῆμα καὶ ἐξηράνθη καὶ συνάγουσιν αὐτὰ καὶ εἰς τὸ πῦρ βάλλουσιν καὶ καίεται. 7 ἐὰν μείνητε ἐν ἐμοὶ καὶ τὰ ῥήματά μου ἐν ὑμῖν μείνῃ, ὃ ἐὰν θέλητε αἰτήσασθε, καὶ γενήσεται ὑμῖν. 8 ἐν τούτῳ ἐδοξάσθη ὁ πατήρ μου, ἵνα καρπὸν πολὺν φέρητε καὶ γένησθε ἐμοὶ μαθηταί. 9 Καθὼς ἠγάπησέν με ὁ πατήρ, κἀγὼ ὑμᾶς ἠγάπησα• μείνατε ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ τῇ ἐμῇ. 10 ἐὰν τὰς ἐντολάς μου τηρήσητε, μενεῖτε ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ μου, καθὼς ἐγὼ τὰς ἐντολὰς τοῦ πατρός μου τετήρηκα καὶ μένω αὐτοῦ ἐν τῇ ἀγάπῃ. 11 Ταῦτα λελάληκα ὑμῖν ἵνα ἡ χαρὰ ἡ ἐμὴ ἐν ὑμῖν ᾖ καὶ ἡ χαρὰ ὑμῶν πληρωθῇ. 12 Αὕτη ἐστὶν ἡ ἐντολὴ ἡ ἐμή, ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους καθὼς ἠγάπησα ὑμᾶς. 13 μείζονα ταύτης ἀγάπην οὐδεὶς ἔχει, ἵνα τις τὴν ψυχὴν αὐτοῦ θῇ ὑπὲρ τῶν φίλων αὐτοῦ. 14 ὑμεῖς φίλοι μού ἐστε ἐὰν ποιῆτε ἃ ἐγὼ ἐντέλλομαι ὑμῖν. 15 οὐκέτι λέγω ὑμᾶς δούλους, ὅτι ὁ δοῦλος οὐκ οἶδεν τί ποιεῖ αὐτοῦ ὁ κύριος• ὑμᾶς δὲ εἴρηκα φίλους, ὅτι πάντα ἃ ἤκουσα παρὰ τοῦ πατρός μου ἐγνώρισα ὑμῖν. 16 οὐχ ὑμεῖς με ἐξελέξασθε, ἀλλʼ ἐγὼ ἐξελεξάμην ὑμᾶς καὶ ἔθηκα ὑμᾶς ἵνα ὑμεῖς ὑπάγητε καὶ καρπὸν φέρητε καὶ ὁ καρπὸς ὑμῶν μένῃ, * ἵνα ὅ τι ἂν αἰτήσητε τὸν πατέρα ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί μου δῷ ὑμῖν. 17 ταῦτα ἐντέλλομαι ὑμῖν, ἵνα ἀγαπᾶτε ἀλλήλους.
I AM the true vine Intro : Continuing to spiral through themes; e.g., love, abide in love, obey commandments. A parable/metaphor (v1-8), and then a commentary (v9-17). Context: leaving the upper room, passing a vineyard? Biblical context: Israel as the 'vine' is a big theme in the OT, e.g., Psalm 80, Isaiah 5. The trinity: abstract and an embarassing waste of air time? Or the very grounds of reality and the complete foundation and frame of our Christian lives? 1. I AM the vine, you are the branches (v1-8) Significance of v1 in Biblical theology, and against the backdrop of the rejection from the Jewish authorities. Theological understandings: dispensation, supercession/replacement, or fulfilment? Who is v2 talking about? Branches not bearing fruit; are they 'taken away', or (as some say) 'lifted up'? Bearing fruit. What is fruit? We must define this ever so carefully. v3 (wordplay in greek); in what sense 'clean' from Jesus' word? v4-5 what it means to 'abide', in real life. The life-giving dynamic of active participation in Jesus, just as branches and vine. The branches depend on vine for life; the vine grows its fruit through the branches. N ot merely formal union but communion; the organic vine/branch relationship shows this. v6, cf verse 2. Who is Jesus talking about and how can we know? v7-8 cf similar promise in 14.13-14. What this promise means in context. The crucial link to the Father being glorified in both instances. Examples. God's glory . He nurtures the lives of his 'branches', his believers in Jesus. FCF . We are fruitless, without new hearts and minds! Proof is our failure to love. H1. All humanity turned away from God in days of Noah. Despising spiritual life. H2. God's people proved a fruitless vine, a 'stink-fruit'. And when the nations were put into the land (2 Chronicles), the same rejection of God happened. Religion gives the appearance of spiritual life, but on scrutiny there is no true fruit. E.g., no true self-giving love. Person of Jesus . He is the truly vital vine, the life-giving vine. He causes those who abide in him to bear fruit. He shares his peace, his love, his joy. He is thus the true Israel. 2. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you (v9-17) Note the ways that the Father's love for the Son grounds our life in Jesus. v9-11 we must note the inseparable relationship between the Father's love for the Son, the Son's obedience to the Father, the Son's full joy - and our obedience to Jesus, Jesus' love for his people, and his people's joy. 'I have loved you', not in the past sense, but in the completeness sense. v12-13 again the key defining feature of Jesus people is: love for one another. Jesus highlights giving life for 'friends' here as he is talking with them. Elsewhere he speaks of love for enemies (e.g., Matthew 5.44). Jesus' love for us, grounded in obedience to the Father, grounds our love for one another. The repetition of giving life for those he loves, self-giving love, reminds us that the DNA of 'fruit' is self-giving love. That, ultimately, is the true value which remains. v15 no longer servants but friends ('loved ones'). cf Ps 25.14 the friendship of the LORD. A covenantal term. Now moved forward in Bible-storyline terms (in sync with the 'true vine' development). The key difference is the revelation; intimacy with the heart and mind of the Father through Jesus. The Father's love for Jesus grounds us being called 'friends' by Jesus. v16-17 Jesus has chosen his people; our lives begin with his own initiative. Fruitful Christian living is grounded in dependent prayer; asking the Father 'in Jesus' name'....and again v17 'so that' you will love one another. The Father's love for the Son grounds our prayer, and thus our fruitful Christian living. Work of Jesus. The life-giving vine is put to death by fruitless Israel, so that true Israel might be raised, and all nations grafted into him as living branches. So that his fruit might be borne around the world. Union with Jesus . Abide in Jesus, and bear much fruit. And know full joy. Invitation. Come and abide in Jesus, find your life in him. Confrontation. Stop pretending to be in Jesus (v2,v6). Consolation. Be comforted by the nature of the fruit which Jesus and the Father delight in. All fruit comes about by dependent prayer (v16). Wrap up: Jesus is the true vine, the true Israel. We are the branches, called to abide in him. And our lives in him are grounded in the Father's love for the Son. As the Father loves Jesus, Jesus has loved us.