The Holy Spirit has guided me to John 15 for today’s message and for this I am thankful.
We are God’s garden and therefore, He is a farmer, for He wants to produce purposeful fruits within us; fruits He can use for His purpose. But what kind of fruits is God looking for and how can we know that He is pleased with our fruit? John 15:1-17 gives us the answers.
The True Vine
I love everything about Jesus and one such thing was His wonderful usage of metaphors. In John 15:1 He tells His disciples that He is the true vine. He is the vine from which the fruits must be expected. He is the example of the type of fruit that we should produce to please God. As you may know, the vine bears fruits in clusters, therefore, we can say that Jesus is the vine and we’re the clustered fruits. Christ was referring to the spiritual oneness of Himself and His people and through Him, we’re sustained.
A vineyard must have a husbandman. When Jesus said that His Father is the Husbandman, He is saying that without the Father, He is nothing for the vine is dependant on the husbandman. This is where Israel comes in. Israel was God’s chosen nation and though they were grafted with the vine, they were not producing good fruit. Although God destroyed and scattered the nation around 70 AD, not every branch was fruitless in Israel. God pruned these branches, thus producing more good fruit. Isn’t He a wonderful Husbandman? We can safely say that Israel’s place as the people of God is now taken by the True Vine (Christ) and true branches (His followers).
Jesus became the True Vine so that through Him we might become true branches. In v. 15:2, Jesus said that the Husbandman cuts off the branches on the vine that don’t produce good fruit, but He tends to the good fruit, pruning them so they can yield forth yet more good fruit. God is very watchful and protective of His fruits. In order for our branches to keep growing, we must meditate on His word and abide in Jesus Christ, otherwise, our branches wither and we would be cast out (15:6).
15:4 reminds us that the branch cannot bear fruits of itself if they’re not of the vine. We must honor God otherwise the unfruitful would be taken away. Without the True Vine, the branches cannot grow at all. We are His husbandry and we must now bear fruit for Him. Jesus stresses on producing good fruit in v. 5.
Verses 7-10 shows the relation between love and obedience: we are to abide in Jesus, meditate on the Word and keep the commandments. Therefore, when we pray, our prayers would be answered. Delighting in God’s Law is a beautiful thing and those who obey, Jesus calls them friends (v. 14). Not in a BFF or equal kind of way, but one can feel the love emanating from Jesus when He refers to whom He was addressing (His disciples) as friends. And Jesus is all about love. Going back to v. 13 Jesus was foretelling His imminent crucifixion when He said, Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Thank you, Jesus! ❤
To conclude, when we live in union with God and obey Jesus’s final command in v. 17 (Love one another), we show that we love and obey Jesus. We are a garden and we need spiritual nurturing every day to grow hence the reason why we have the Holy Spirit to guide us as we continue to be dependent on our Father.
Ezekiel 19:10: ‘Your mother was like a vine in your vineyard, Planted by the waters; It was fruitful and full of branches Because of abundant waters.
Matthew 15:13: But Jesus replied, “Every plant that My Heavenly Father has not planted will be pulled up by its roots.
John 15:2: He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes to make it even more fruitful.
1 Corinthians 3:9: For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, God’s building.