Summary: Believers depend completely on Jesus who came that first Christmas as the source of their spiritual life. He show that life through the images of The Vine (John 15:1a, 5a), 2) The Vinedresser (John 15:1b), 3) The Vine Branches (John 15:2–11)
To explain the impact of Jesus coming to this earth that first Christmas, the image of the branch and the vine was used to illustrate being in relationship with Him. Just as a branch depends entirely on the vine for life, sustenance, growth, and fruit, so believers depend completely on Jesus who came that first Christmas as the source of their spiritual life. He show that life through the images of The Vine (John 15:1a, 5a), 2) The Vinedresser (John 15:1b), 3) The Vine Branches (John 15:2–11)
1) The Vine (John 15:1a, 5a)
John 15:1a [15:1]"I am the true vine, (and my Father is the vinedresser). (ESV)
John 15:5a I am the vine; (you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing). (ESV)
This is the last of the seven “I AM” statements in John’s gospel, all of which affirm the deity of this one born in Bethlehem (6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 14:6; cf. 8:24, 28, 58; 13:19; 18:5–6). As God in human flesh, Jesus rightly pointed to Himself as the source of spiritual life, vitality, growth, and productivity.
The Old Testament portrays Israel as God’s vine (Psalm 80:8; Jer. 2:21), the channel through which God’s covenant blessings flowed to the world. Yet its unfaithfulness, made it an empty vine, which disqualified it as the channel for God’s blessings. Those blessings now come only from union with Jesus Christ, the true vine. Jesus is the true vine in the sense that He is the final and complete revelation of spiritual truth. We wait for no other Christmas.
As Jesus is the Vine, He describes God, His Father as:
2) The Vinedresser (John 15:1b)
John 15:1b [15:1] ("I am the true vine, and) my Father is the vinedresser. (ESV)
During His incarnation, that first Christmas, Jesus willingly assumed a subordinate role to the Father (cf. Jn. 14:28). Vinedresser (Georgos) refers to one who tills the soil; hence a farmer (2 Tim. 2:6; James 5:7), or a vine-grower (Matt. 21:33, 34, 35, 38, 40, 41; Mark 12:1, 2, 7, 9). Apart from planting, fertilizing, and watering the vine, the vinedresser had two primary responsibilities in caring for it. First, he removed the branches that did not bear fruit. Second, he pruned the ones that did bear fruit, thus enabling them to bear more fruit. It is with those two types of branches that the rest of Christ’s analogy is primarily concerned.
Therefore in this story explaining the significance of Christ in Christmas we all:
3) The Vine Branches (John 15:2–11)
The two types of branches represent the two types of disciples outwardly professing attachment to Jesus: a) the genuine branches that abide in Him (John 15:2b–5, 7–11), and b) the false branches that do not (John 15: 2a, 6).
a) The blessings of abiding branches (John 15:2b–5, 7–11)
Three distinguishing marks of the true branches stand out in this analogy. They bear fruit (vv. 2, 4, 5, 8). That characteristic most clearly sets them apart from the false branches (cf. vv. 2, 8). And, they also abide (remain; continue) in Christ’s love (v. 9).