Summary: This is a sermon about how God takes away things that are preventing us from producing spiritual fruit in our individual lives and as a church.
1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
2Every 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.
3You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4Abide 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.
5I 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.
6If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.
7If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
8By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Jesus speaks these words to His disciples after the Last Supper.
He knows that tomorrow He will die on the cross.
All that He had to face was weighing heavily upon His mind.
He had come to save His people,
and few were responding in a genuine way.
Most who had begun to follow Him were falling away.
He was even facing the collapse of His own inner circle.
Þ One disciple was in the process of betraying Him (Judas).
Þ The leader of the disciples would deny Him 3 times (Peter).
Þ The other disciples would run away and desert Him.
And then, there was the world of men who were rejecting Him:
the religionists who strongly professed to know and live for God,
and the Lost who had no desire to know God.
The thought of it all raced through His mind.
Then He recalled the vine of God described in the Old Testament
You have brought a vine out of Egypt;
You have cast out the nations, and planted it.
9 You prepared room for it, And caused it to take deep root,
And it filled the land.
10 The hills were covered with its shadow,
11 She sent out her boughs to the Sea, And her branches to the River.
Now let me sing to my Well-beloved
A song of my Beloved regarding His vineyard:
My Well-beloved has a vineyard On a very fruitful hill.
2 He dug it up and cleared out its stones, And planted it with the choicest
vine. He built a tower in its midst, And also made a winepress in it;
So He expected it to bring forth good grapes,
But it brought forth wild grapes.
3 "And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,
Judge, please, between Me and My vineyard.
4 What more could have been done to My vineyard
That I have not done in it?
Why then, when I expected it to bring forth good grapes,
Did it bring forth wild grapes?
5 And now, please let Me tell you what I will do to My vineyard:
I will take away its hedge, and it shall be burned;
And break down its wall, and it shall be trampled down.
6 I will lay it waste; It shall not be pruned or dug,
But there shall come up briers and thorns.
I will also command the clouds that they rain no rain on it."
7 For the vineyard of the LORD of hosts is the house of Israel,