John 15:1-8 “The Vine, the Vinedresser and the Vineyard”
Three topics of discussion:
- Relationship: What it means to be related to Christ properly
- Hardship: Why God uses hardships to prune our lives
- Discipleship: Jesus makes distinction between true fruit bearing branches and those who are not truly His.
Why does Christ suddenly launch into a parable of the vineyard…the farmer….and branches?
- They had left the upper room and in so doing may have seen one of two things or both of them:
- Actual vineyards….grape groves
- Or visibly being able to see the doors to the Temple….brass, with emblems of vines and grapes embossed on the doors.
The Vineyard: Represents Israel in the Old Testament. (They were supposed to be God’s fruitful vine.)
- Ps. 80, Ezekiel….speak of Israel as the Vineyard
- Read Isa. 5:1 God expected Israel to bring forth grapes but it brought forth wild grapes.
- But, Israel had always lived with the impression that they were God’s vine….His vineyard.
- And Jesus comes and says, “I am the true vine…..not Israel.
Three distinguishing marks of those in relationship with God:
- You are connected to Christ.
- You are cared for by the Father.
- You are consistent over time.
We are connected to the True Vine (Jesus Christ), we are the branches.
- This has to be a personal connection that results in new life.
- It must also be fruitful.
- This is evidence of a new life.
- It must be more than your heritage or your religious experiences.
(Read: Lu. 20:9 -19)
We are cared for by the Father.
- He strips away the dead branches.
- The Father is so near to the branches at this point…..He’s tending us.
- What does pruning do to us? It hurts. Why? So they we might bring forth more fruit.
How does God prune us? (3 ways)
- By scripture.
- By suffering.
- By stupidity. ( Sometimes we suffer from stupid choices that we make.)
We are consistent over time.
- The word “abide” is used frequently in this text.
- In Greek the word means “stay put”, “remain”, or “stay around”.
- The point: True disciples stay disciples.
- The only legitimate believer is the abiding believer.
One final point: Of all of the acts of the vinedresser….He is most close to the branch (His church), when He is pruning it.