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Summary: This is the first of a four part look at Jesus teaching that He is the true vine. This message sets the stage defining roles, fruit, and the types of branches Jesus speaks of.

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What attention might we give to the final words

of someone close to us who is about to die?

John 15 - Personal moment with Jesus and His disciples on the night of His betrayal.

LET’S SET THE STAGE FOR WHERE WE ARE -

On the heels of the Triumphant Entry (John 12:12-16): Disciples don’t understand

What they might have been thinking - Mark 11:1-6

The Passover Feast: One commentator, "The feast had become more luxurious and lavish; the participants no longer sat on stools and ate the meal in haste, but lay around the table on couches, drank wine as in a proper feast, and ate the meal in a leisurely fashion."

Positioning for greatness in the kingdom: Matthew 20 a mother of two disciples requests the seats at the sides of Jesus;

OYB - in Mark 10 it is actually James and John

Scene of confidence, power, and triumphant. Three years has led to this!

The mood shift - John 13:2-5

Blow #2 - v. 18-22

Blow #3 - John 14:19a

The Final Blow - John 14:30

The mood has shifted. Jesus has their attention, and leads them out (v. 31b)

Begins final "I Am. . ." teaching - John 15: 1-8

MY EXPERIENCE WITH GRAPES & VINES:

Summer job after college

Parents home in Napa Valley

Today we set the stage.

DEFINING ROLES -

Jesus is the Vine: the trunk out of the ground.

God is the Vinedresser: Hired to produce the highest yield of grapes possible.

We are the Branches: That which takes from the trunk and produces fruit.

Hard to see where the trunk stops and the branches begin.

Trellis: Surprise for later.

DEFINING FRUIT -

Not strictly evangelism and conversions.

Titus 3:14 - connection of fruits to good works.

Psalm 1:3 - fruits connected to the prospering of whatever we do.

Galatians 5:22 - Christ like inner fruit.

Fruit = external works (including evangelism and kingdom building to be sure), but also inner works of the Spirit

Fruit should endure (John 15:16) - Both types of fruit, the external works and the inner working produced in our spirit

Fruit is our purpose - The reason we have been chosen by God, is to produce fruit/good works that lasts (Ephesians 2: 10).

Not the first Biblical use of this imagery - Isaiah 5:1-7

JESUS DESCRIBES DIFFERENT TYPES OF BRANCHES:

1. Does not bear fruit (v. 2)

2. Bears fruit (v. 2)

3. Bears more fruit (v. 2)

4. Bears much fruit (v. 5)

DOES NOT BEAR FRUIT

v. 2a: "In Me" - Can be in Christ, and not bear fruit.

Two implications:

Not bearing fruit does not equal not being a Christian.

Being a Christian, does not equal fulfilling God’s will for your life.

What does God do with these branches?

"Takes away" - airo: take up, lift up.

(Matthew 14:20, Matthew 27:32, John 1:29)

Important correction of erroneous teaching and preaching:

airo - never in Biblical or Greek literature means to "cut off"

Imagery of the vineyard provides the imagery of the vinedresser lifting up these branches that don’t bear fruit - lifting up and cleaning them off, and connecting back to the trellis.

Connection to verse 3 -

Others need to be picked up, cleaned and reconnected to bear fruit again.

Example of cleaning the dog or a muddy kid.


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