Summary: Jesus is the source of life, and His life within you is for one purpose-THAT YOU MIGHT BEAR FRUIT. We need to ask ourselves 2 questions: 1. Are we connected to Christ, and 2. If we are in Christ, then how much fruit is there in our lives?
· In Hampton Court near London, there is a grapevine which is about 1,000 years old. This grapevine has one root which is at least two feet thick, and some of the branches are 200 feet long. Despite its age the vine produces several tons of grapes each year. Although some of the smaller branches are 200 feet from the main stem, they still bear the sweet and delicious fruit because they are connected to the vine. Life flows from that single root and through out the vine bringing nourishment and strength to each of the branches.
Jesus promises to do the same for us. He is the “true vine” bringing life to each of the branches. The purpose of the vine is to bring nourishment to the branches in order that they might produce fruit. When separated from the vine the branches wither and die. The vitality of our spiritual life is dependent upon our connection to Christ the “true vine.”
Each of us must answer two questions this morning. First, are we connected to the vine, or is the life of Christ flowing within us? Secondly, if we are connected to the vine and we are joined to Christ, then how much fruit are we producing through our lives; is there no fruit, some fruit, or an abundance of fruit?
+ John 15:1-8 1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. (NIV)
1. JESUS IS THE SOURCE OF LIFE. (Verse 1)
Jesus tells his disciples, “I am the true vine.” Have you ever wondered why Jesus may have said that? I think I may know why. Think with me a moment about what has happened and where Jesus and His disciples most likely are.
If you remember this is the night of Jesus’ betrayal, but before that happens Jesus and the disciples have been in the upper room. As they celebrated the Passover in the upper room, Jesus had washed the disciples feet and spoke with them about the events that were to take place. After a great deal of discussion with His disciples Jesus ends chapter 14 saying, “Come now; let us leave.”
Matthew, another one of the disciples says that following the Passover meal Jesus and the disciples sang a hymn and then went out to the Mount of Olives (Matthew 26:30). I believe that it is as they are making their way from the upper room to the Mount of Olives and the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus continued to instruct this group who had walked with Him for the last three years. Jesus knew that time was running out, but He still had much that He wanted to share with the disciples.
John 15 continues Jesus’ teaching with, “I am the true vine” Jesus was a master teacher. He didn’t talk over people’s heads; He used things which were common to those He taught so that they could understand His teaching. So I believe that as Jesus and the disciples were making their way they walked beside something familiar to everyone in Jerusalem–a grapevine.
In this way then Jesus can walk up to the vine and tell His disciples, “I am the true vine.” Now He had their attention; now Jesus was using something that they were familiar with and could understand as an “illustrated sermon.”
In the upper room Jesus had told His disciples some things that would be difficult to understand, but now Jesus could help them to comprehend what He had told them. Two things stand out from what Jesus had told His disciples in the upper room from John 14.
First, Jesus had told His disciples that He was “the life” (John 14:6). Second He said that the Holy Spirit, the “allon parakleton” that is another of the same kind coming with strength, would come to be in them (John 14:16-18). Jesus clarifies the upper room teaching with an illustration that we can all understand when He says “I am the true vine.”