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Summary: A study of the Gospel of John 15: 1 - 8

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John 15: 1 - 8

Parables; Allegories; and Metaphors; - Oh My

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, 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, 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, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If 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. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Our Lord Jesus and his disciples were raping up their dinner meeting in the upper room in Jerusalem where they celebrated the Passover. Apparently the disciples were exceedingly anxious, and confused as to what loomed ahead. The words of our Teacher and Lord Jesus then were calculated to instruct, and strengthen His disciples. They needed some crucial preparation for the ordeal that would follow in the next twenty-four hours.

Some biblical scholars have commented that chapter 15 is a parable. However throughout the centuries many experts observe and declare that parables are noticeably absent from the Gospel of John". Here in this chapter our Lord Jesus' teaching contains no parables but three allegories. An allegory is an expanded metaphor. The metaphor is a figure of speech where a comparison is made between two objects for the purpose of illustration. In this allegory, our Lord and Savior set forth some wonderful truths in the pattern of the agricultural environment of His day.

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, 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, 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, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If 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. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

There are four characters in the Lord’s illustration.

1. There is the ‘Vine’. The vine is the source of life for the branches. It provides the water and nutrients by which the grapes are produced. Without the vine, no fruit could ever result. Branches are utterly dependent upon the vine. Without our Lord Jesus Christ, or course. There is no spiritual life or hope of eternal reward. It is interesting that Christ Jesus our Lord designates Himself as the ‘True Vine’ The Greek term denotes that which is genuine, the word stands in contrast to that which is fictitious, counterfeit, imaginary, simulated or pretentious. Inasmuch as the Israelite nation was portrayed on occasion as a ‘vine’ by Old Testament prophets, one can scarcely avoid thinking that this is a rebuke aimed at a considerable segment of the Hebrew population. The nation largely had failed in its God given mission and now was on the verge of murdering its Messiah.


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