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In this way then Jesus can walk up to the vine and tell His disciples, “I am the true vine.” Now He had their attention; now Jesus was using something that they were familiar with and could understand as an “illustrated sermon.”
In the upper room Jesus had told His disciples some things that would be difficult to understand, but now Jesus could help them to comprehend what He had told them. Two things stand out from what Jesus had told His disciples in the upper room from John 14.
First, Jesus had told His disciples that He was “the life” (John 14:6). Second He said that the Holy Spirit, the “allon parakleton” that is another of the same kind coming with strength, would come to be in them (John 14:16-18). Jesus clarifies the upper room teaching with an illustration that we can all understand when He says “I am the true vine.”
· Mikey is learning about plants in science. This week we did a simple experiment with a piece of celery. We started with an unhealthy and withered piece of celery that we put into a glass of colored water. Now how many of you know what happened? That celery took a big drink of water and stood back up; it looked healthy again (except maybe for where the veins within the stalk had turned red from the food coloring). Mikey could see that life had been renewed within that piece of celery.
Everyone living in Jerusalem, and even those rough fishermen among the twelve who walked with Jesus knew that life flowed from the vine into the branches. So Jesus uses this common sight around Jerusalem to bring further understanding to what He had said earlier.
Therefore, Jesus is showing His disciples and us that He is the source of spiritual life. Jesus is the source of life, a resource made available by the Holy Spirit when He comes to dwell within the believer. John spells it out plainly for us:
+ 1 John 5:11-12 11And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (NIV)
Now before we move any further we need to stop and deal with our first question, “Are you connected to the vine?” If you are not connected to Jesus through the forgiveness of your sin, if you have not let Jesus rescue you from drowning in a turbulent sea of sin, then you are as good as dead. The life you are living is empty and meaningless because your aren’t connected to the source of life.
+ Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)
The choice is yours. You can either stay the way you are, or you can choose to be grafted into the life giving vine. All the other vines are lifeless; the branches have no real fruit because there is no life in the vine. But when you are connected to Jesus, suddenly everything will be made new and alive.
2. THE LIFE SOURCE PRODUCES FRUIT. (Verses 2-8)
Jesus is the life source and His life within the believer is for one purpose–to produce fruit. The question we need to think about for ourselves is, “How much fruit
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