John 15:1-8

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."

Chapters 13 and 14 were about what Christ is doing now. Chapter 15 is about what we should be doing in response.

Israel is symbolized as the olive, the fig tree and the vine (Judges 9:7-15; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 15:2; Hosea 10:1; Isaiah 5:1-7).

But Israel was about to cast out the Son (Matthew 21:33-41). The nation of Israel came from its father, Israel. Spiritual Israel springs from Christ (Psalm 80:8-9).

Christ is the true vine (v.1), the true Israel.

true (v.1) — perfect, essential, enduring reality

The theme of the parable is fruit-bearing. Israel had borne no fruit.

True fruitfulness comes from union with Christ, not from the Law (Romans 7:1). The brance must abide in the vine.

vinedresser (v.1) — husbandman — the Father as caretaker

branch in Me that beareth not fruit (v.2)  — speaking about Chrisitans

fruit (v.2) — Christlikeness (Galatians 5:22)

takes away (v.2) = should be "lifted up". Caused to bear fruit.

prune (v.2) = cleanses — washes off parasites, with the water of the Word. To make us more fruitful (not to make us fit for heaven).

already (v.3) — our "standing" as opposed to our "state" in the previous verse

The true brances are cleansed/purged by the Word (v.3).

abide (v.4) — (used 15 times in John 15:1-10) union, oneness, the continuing activity of faith

he who (v.5) — the 11 disciples, all saved.

without Me (v.5) — in our old natures

does not abide in Me (v.6) — unbelievers, those who claim to be of the vine but aren't. This isn't loss of salvation. Note the change of address in verse 6 — not "ye" but "anyone." (May also apply to believers in the sense of 1 Corinthians 3:15 — If anyone's work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.)

ask what you desire (v.7) — in accordance with fruit-bearing and glorifying God, asking that you will be aligned with His will.

All my commentaries begin by showing that in Scripture, the vine is Israel. But then they insist on reading the Church into the passage. Why? John wrote it (Galatians 2:9). Christ was talking to the disciples who were all Jewish. Although it can certainly apply to the Church in many ways, it's essential reference seems to me to be Israel.

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