Summary: Learn how fruiting is related to rooting.

John 15:

1. I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

2. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every {branch} that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

3. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

4. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither {can} you unless you abide in Me

5. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing

6. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned

7. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

8. "My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and {so} prove to be My disciples.

9. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love.

10. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.

11. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and {that} your joy may be made full.

Verse 16: “I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain.”

Background of Text:

Post Judas, Pre-garden – trip to the Garden: Chapter 14 closes with “Rise, let us go” and Jesus and the disciples seem to have left the upper room located in the SW corner of Jerusalem and then they worked their way in a FULL MOON (Passover) through vineyards that surrounded the city, down through the Kidron Valley and up to Gethsamane’s garden on the Mount of Olives.

Jesus had been speaking about returning to the Father, about leaving, about his death…and the disciples were both confused as well as saddened. He also had said repeatedly, “you in me and I in you” but they did not seem to grasp what he meant. So, he picked up a vine and said these words we just read.

The vineyards were illuminated by the full moon of Passover. It would have been a twilight kind of scene. And the vines would have been pruned back for the spring growth that was soon to come. In fact, the branches may have been in the process of being pruned, some pruned back and others with their full year of branches and vines intertwined along the cords and the stakes.

This time of year here in Madison and Geneva, you can see the results of a vineyard’s proper care; in fact, harvest of the concord grapes has just finished except for some left on the vine for the “frozen harvest.” Watch those full looking vines after the leaves die off and observe the massive intertwining of the branches and vines. And then take notice in late winter or early spring when the vineyard owners go out and prune the vines back. It is this process of pruning that Jesus had noticed and was using as an illustration for his disciples.

There are some principles that we will try to take home from this passage today.

1. We were created for bearing Fruit.

a. Jesus did not come to die for us so that we could have an easy life.

b. We were not set free for our own comfort.

c. Jesus came to save us from sin, its effects and its consequences

i. From self rule

ii. And from our separation from God.

d. Imagine this picture –

i. A vine grows its branches which are so happy they are a part of the vine. In fact, they grow very attractive leaves, and the vines get long and fat. Each vine compliments the other on how good they look.

ii. But because the branches have gotten long and fat, it means that the energy from the root of the plants has been wasted on branches and there is not enough energy and nutrients left over for fruit bearing.

iii. We have in the center of our woods an area where the deer like to hide. It is filled with old, abandoned grapevines that tower up the trees and hang like lace from branches above.

1. But you will never ever find grapes on these vines.

2. It is because they have been left to their own devices and have never suffered the discipline of pruning.

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