Understanding The Meaning Of A Text

John 15: 1-17  “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.

12 “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. 17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

The Point: God expects us TO BEAR FRUIT

Rules of Bible Interpretation:

Consider THE CONTEXT

Chapter 13-17 = “Farewell Discourse”

  • The disciples gather in the upper room
  • Jesus washes the feet of the disciples
    • Including Judas
  • Judas departs and goes and betrays Jesus
  • Jesus predicts Peters betrayal
  • The promised Holy Spirit coming
  • They leave the upper room and are in the garden / vineyard
    • There are grape country (vineyard)
    • He uses the illustration of a vineyard and farmer
    • Very profound and powerful
    • Vineyard is always used as a symbol of Israel
  • The disciples would know the reference well (because they were Jews)
    • Jesus is referring and quoting Isaiah 5: 1-7
    • God is tending the vineyard
    • The reward is wild grapes (fruit)
    • The fruitfulness of those in Christ are compared to the fruitlessness of Israel
  • High Priestly prayer (chapter 17)
  • Then the betrayal
  • This teaching is moments before the start of the crucifixion drama

Define KEY WORDS

Abide = 11 times

  • Dwell, tarry, remain, do not depart
  • He just told them they He was leaving
    • He just told them about the Holy Spirit
  • They were hours (if not less) than the arrest of Jesus
  • He is telling them to abide (do not depart) Jesus

Fruit = 8 times

  • 66 times in the New Testament
  • What is the context here? (get to this in a minute)
    • There are grapes in the vineyard and Jesus uses this as an picture

Love = 8 times

  • Agape = unconditional love

Interpret UNCLEAR verses with CLEAR ONES

  • Bearing fruit IS PRODUCED BY ABIDING IN CHRIST (V. 4)
  • Bearing fruit BRINGS GLORY TO GOD (V. 8)
  • Bearing fruit WILL GIVE ME FULL JOY (V. 11)

Look for THE OBVIOUS MEANING

Three types of branches:

  1. Those that are DISCONNECTED FROM THE VINE
  2. Those that are BEING PRUNED
  3. Those that are BEARING MUCH FRUIT

I bear spiritual fruit by ABIDING IN CHRIST AND ASKING IN PRAYER

Application:

WHAT TYPE OF BRANCH AM I?

 

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