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Jesus the Living Vine

15 “I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father. He cares for the branches connected to me by lifting and propping up the fruitless branches[a] and pruning[b] every fruitful branch to yield a greater harvest. The words I have spoken over you have already cleansed[c] you. So you must remain in life-union with me,[d] for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine.

“I am the sprouting vine and you’re my branches.[e] As you live in union with me as your source, fruitfulness will stream from within you—but when you live separated from me you are powerless. If a person is separated from me, he is discarded; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire to be burned. But if you live in life-union with me and if my words[f] live powerfully[g] within you—then you can ask whatever you desire and it will be done. When your lives bear abundant fruit, you demonstrate that you are my mature disciples who glorify my Father!

“I love each of you with the same love that the Father loves me. You must continually let my love nourish your hearts. 10 If you keep my commands, you will live in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands, for I continually live nourished and empowered by his love. 11 My purpose for telling you these things is so that the joy that I experience will fill your hearts with overflowing gladness!

12 “So this is my command: Love each other deeply, as much as I have loved you.[h] 13 For the greatest love of all is a love that sacrifices all. And this great love is demonstrated when a person sacrifices his life[i] for his friends.

14 “You show that you are my intimate friends when you obey[j] all[k] that I command you. 15 I have never called you ‘servants,’[l] because a master doesn’t confide in his servants, and servants don’t always understand what the master is doing. But I call you my most intimate friends,[m] for I reveal to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father. 16 You didn’t choose me, but I’ve chosen[n] and commissioned you to go into the world[o] to bear fruit. And your fruit will last, because whatever you ask of my Father, for my sake,[p] he will give it to you! 17 So this is my parting command: Love one another deeply!”

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  1. John 15:2 The Greek phrase can also be translated “he takes up [to himself] every fruitless branch.” He doesn’t remove these branches, but he takes them to himself. As the wise and loving farmer, he lifts them up off the ground to enhance their growth. In the context, Christ’s endless love for his disciples on the last night of his life on earth seems to emphasize God’s love even for those who fail and disappoint him. Peter’s denial didn’t bring rejection from Jesus.
  2. John 15:2 The Greek word for “pruning,” kathairo, can also mean cleansing.
  3. John 15:3 Or “pruned.”
  4. John 15:4 Or “grafted into me.”
  5. John 15:5 See Isa. 4:2; 11:1-2; Rev. 1:20. The branch of the Lord is now Christ living in his people, branching out through them. The church is now his lampstand with seven branches.
  6. John 15:7 This is the Greek word rhema, which refers to the spoken words, or the sayings, of God.
  7. John 15:7 The Aramaic is translated “my words take hold (are strong) within you.”
  8. John 15:12 Because we are all branches in one vine, if we don’t love one another it means that our fellowship with the vine has been cut off. To bear fruit must come from loving each other, for the same Christ-life lives within every believer. We are not branches of many trees, but of one vine.
  9. John 15:13 Or “willingly lay down his soul for his friends.” The Aramaic word for “friends” is actually “family” or “relatives.”
  10. John 15:14 The Greek verb indicates “if you keep on obeying as a habit.”
  11. John 15:14 The Aramaic is translated “all”; the Greek is translated “what I command you.”
  12. John 15:15 As translated from the Aramaic. The Greek is, “I will no longer call you servants.” The Greek word for “servants” is doulos, which means “slaves.”
  13. John 15:15 Both the Aramaic and Greek word for “intimate friends” is actually “those cared for from the womb.” You are more than a friend to him, for you were born again from his wounded side.
  14. John 15:16 The Aramaic is “I have invited you” (as dinner guests).
  15. John 15:16 This could mean “to go on into maturity” (character), or “to go into the world” (ministry). However, the “choosing” and “commissioning” infers the latter.
  16. John 15:16 Or “in my name.”