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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[h] 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!

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Footnotes

  1. 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. 15:2 The Greek word for “pruning,” kathairo, can also mean “cleansing.”
  3. 15:3 Or “pruned.”
  4. 15:4 Or “grafted into me.”
  5. 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. 15:7 This is the Greek word rhema, which refers to the spoken words, or the sayings, of God.
  7. 15:7 The Aramaic is translated “my words take hold (are strong) within you.”
  8. 15:7 Or “demand” or “insist.”