Lesson 88

The Gospel of John

World English Bible translation

 Today's Scripture

15:1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer. 15:2 Every branch in me that doesn't bear fruit, he takes away. Every branch that bears fruit, he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 15:3 You are already pruned clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 15:4 Remain in me, and I in you. As the branch can't bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you, unless you remain in me. 15:5 I am the vine. You are the branches. He who remains in me, and I in him, the same bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. 15:6 If a man doesn't remain in me, he is thrown out as a branch, and is withered; and they gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 15:7 If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you will ask whatever you desire, and it will be done to you. 15:8 In this is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; and so you will be my disciples.

 Today's Lesson 

Today's Scripture is a beautiful illustration of the indwelling life of God that Jesus has told His disciples about. He has already told them that if they follow His commandments the Father and the Son will come and make their life with them. Now He gives them an image of what that life would be like when it occurs.


Jesus compares Himself to a grapevine. God is the farmer that tends the vineyard, planting, pruning and harvesting in season. The fruit of the grape is born on branches that come off the main vine. Branches that bear no fruit are pruned so that the life of the vine will be concentrated in the branches that bear the most fruit. With careful pruning a branch that bears fruit can be made to increase its yield.


Jesus tells His disciples that when He comes to live within them, it will be as the relationship of a vine to its branches. We are connected to the vine and the life of the vine flows through us. As long as a branch remains connected to the vine, it can be productive. If the branch is ever separated from the vine, it is worthless and will be discarded and destroyed. A branch is not independent of the vine, it cannot continue to live apart from it. In the same way, we receive life from our savior and our spiritual life can only continue if we continue to abide in a relationship with Him.


The purpose of the farmer is to bear fruit. In the same sense, God seeks to bear fruit in our lives. The fruit of our lives is love for God and love for each other. Those who have no love in them for God and their neighbor are lifeless and discarded. Those who bear some fruit are pruned through the teaching of the Holy Spirit until they bear more fruit. As God continues to abide in our lives and we grow closer to Him, there becomes a point in which we more clearly allow the love of the Father to flow through us and into the lives of those around us. It is at this point that we begin to bear much fruit for our Father.


People often wonder what the life of Christ inside of them should feel like. How can we experience God in our lives? Here is the picture that Christ has painted for us. We are not separate from Him. If you were to venture into a vineyard and see the grapes in production you would see the plants as a whole. Where the vine ends and where the branch begins is a matter of conjecture and only important to the farmer as he prunes. You would look at each plant and say, "This plant produces good fruit," or "This plant appears sickly." In the same sense God sees believers as a part of His Son. He looks at the plant and is pleased that it is bearing Him much fruit. We may be a small portion of the total vine, but we are seen as a part of Him, not as individual entities.


Because Christ has made me a branch, I receive a portion of His inheritance from the Father. I am clothed in Christ and when God looks at me, He sees the purity and holiness of His own Son. I would not be pure or holy if I was apart from Him. Nor would there be His love flowing through me. Apart from Christ, I would be nothing. But, in Christ, I have inherited all things from the Heavenly Father.


Allow the love of Christ to flow through you. Become one with the true vine. The fruit of love will began to blossom and grow within your life and one day you will see much fruit for the Father in your life. All of this is available through our relationship to the vine.


Does the love of Christ flow through you freely? Or, like so many others, do you feel disconnected and lonely? Do not resist the vine. Allow His life to flow through you and you too will one day bear much fruit!


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