“I am the true vine …
This week brings us to the last of the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus recorded by John. In the Old Testament, a few of the prophets referred to Israel as a choice vine – a vine given all it stood in need of to bear fruit. The care given to this vine should have produced fruit the gardener could brag about. Instead the prophet Isaiah wrote this vine produced wild grapes. Wild grapes are puny and sour, nothing to brag about. Isaiah wrote why the Lord, the gardener, would “lay waste” to this vine.
“For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,
and the men of Judah his pleasant plant:
and he looked for judgment, but behold oppression;
for righteousness, but behold a cry.”
In his faithfulness to himself and his word, the Lord God would not leave Israel in a fruitless state. He would plant the True Vine among them.
This week’s Passage:
Jesus said –
- “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
- I am the vine, ye are the branches:
He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered: and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit: so shall ye be my disciples.
- As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love.” John 15:1-9
As the vine is so shall the fruit be. In Jesus the true vine –
- “Mercy and truth are met together;
- righteousness and peace have kissed each other…
- righteousness shall go before him;
- and shall set us in the way of his steps.” Psalm 85:10,13
The Vine came filled with righteousness, mercy, and truth. The branches grow from him and then comes the Vine’s reward – the righteous fruit born of the branches. Hence the Gardener is glorified, the Vine is praised, and the branches fulfill their purpose. Next time we hope to take a closer look at the relationship between the vine and the branches.