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3 elements: The Vine, the branches, and the fruit. Jesus has just warned His followers that He is leaving, but that He will send His Spirit in His place. He will be up in heaven, but will send down a life line, a way to remain connected. The Vine!
A. The Vine.
vv. 1, 4a, 5a, 7a
Jesus again claims to be God.
John's first verse says:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us...
He claimed to know Abraham, and that got people riled up, saying, "You aren't old enough to know him!
Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am.
And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life:
Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world:
Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
I am the good shepherd:
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection...
Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life:
And now in our text He says I am the vine!
It's a picture of a grape vine.
Past vine = Israel.
What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it? wherefore, when I looked that it should bring forth grapes, brought it forth wild grapes?
He's speaking of Israel's idolatry, turning away from Him. And He says in essence, "You can't do enough for some people."
Future vine = Gentile nations which reject God in the end times. We could be part of the formation of this coming together now!
... Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
When these grapes are squeezed, it is blood that comes out.
"Battle Hymn" says He treads the grapes of wrath.
Present vine = the Great I AM! The TRUE Vine.
As believers, we are invited to abide in Him, the true vine. Unbelievers attach themselves to the vine of this earth, choosing to connect themselves to temporal things which do not satisfy and take you nowhere but down. But we find all we need in Jesus, the True Vine! It's a living relationship, a loving relationship, and a lasting relationship!
B. The Branches.
v. 5 If you are saved, then you are a branch. And you should be attached to the Vine. Evidently it is possible to be saved and to detach from the Vine, or else we wouldn't have the command to 'abide' in the Vine, and remain connected.
And a branch is worth next to nothing unless it is attached to the vine. It can detach, and still be a branch, but a dead one, and relatively useless.
ill.--the Kuna Indians could use branches to build huts, but they weren't valuable, burned down often [volatile], and certainly could no longer bear fruit.
The world can use you if you detach from Christ, but don't be fooled into thinking you have any real value, or will produce anything truly good. Rather, you are a volatile, detrimental testimony.