"Uniting Christian & Jewish Clergy from Around the World"
“I am the true vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit he takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are the already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and t hey gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be my disciples.”
1. Do you understand the concept of fruit bearing that is being discussed here?
A. We have to remember that the context is an agricultural society of almost 2,000 years ago.
B. Can you put yourself in the shoes of those who were listening to our Lord and Savior so you can understand through the eyes of the disciples what Jesus was trying to say?
2. Looking at the above question, it would be helpful to know that the growing of grapes was much different in Jesus' time than it is today.
A. They didn't have the technology we have today.
B. Everything had to be done by hand.
C. This meant that the task of working a vineyard was very labor intensive.
3. The next question is much simpler in that it asks us to acknowledge the fact that do we understand who we are in Christ?
A. It appears quite obvious that we're called to do what God has commanded us which is also told us in the following scripture:
(1) “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always ,even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20/NKJV)
(2) So, are you making disciples? Are you being obedient to the Word of God?
(a) If not, why not?
(b) If you were standing before the LORD right now, how would justify your actions?
B. Simply put, “Do you truly understand what God has called you to do as a Christian?
4. This brings me to the next point. “Do you truly understand what abiding in Christ means?”
A. Do you understand that what Jesus means when He says without Him you can do nothing?
B. Going back to an understanding of growing grapes. Do you understand that
grapes do not grow all by themselves?
(1) It takes nuturing, care, water, and attention by the vinedresser.
(2) Thus, without Jesus; we can't really accomplish anything on our own that
He has asked us to do can we?
5. The next question is really a little more complicated. “What do you think Jesus means by telling us if we abide in Him we will get what we ask of Him?”
A. Well, I believe He is telling us that if we're obedient to what He has asked us
to do, and if what we ask is according to His will; then He will grant us what
B. What I believe He is not saying is what the “Name it and Claim it crowd” is
saying God has to grant us what we ask of Him.
C. God is not a great cosmic candy machine. You don't put your money in and
then get what you want out of God.
6. For me, the last part of this passage is the key. If we're obedient to what Jesus has called us to do, then the Father will be pleased with us for we will have been obedient to what He and the Son and the Holy Spirit desire from us.