Jesus is the Vine

Jesus said I am the vine.

In his ministry Jesus used the phrase; “I am the….” God also told Moses say “I am sent me” All of the I AM statement in the Bible were connected with an event going on around Jesus. Jesus responded to the circumstances around him. He used every-day events as a jumping-off point for teachings about God. Let’s review the I AM statements, and you’ll see what I mean:
In John 6
Jesus Feeds the Five Thousand
1 Sometime after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias),
2 and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick.
3 Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples.

Jesus fed over 5,000 people. Right after that miracle — He told them: I AM the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never Thirst.
John 6:35
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Jesus and his Disciples were at the Temple to celebrate the Festival of Lights when Jesus announced, I AM the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.
John 8:12
They were looking out over hills where shepherds herded their sheep when Jesus said: I AM the gate (for the sheep); whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
John 10:9
9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.

He went on to say, I AM the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Just before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he declared: I AM the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies.
John 11:25
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die;

At the Last Supper, Jesus warned his apostles about his coming arrest and death. The Apostles couldn’t understand what he meant. Finally, Thomas exclaimed: We don’t know where you’re going, Jesus! How can we possibly know the way? Jesus took that opportunity to teach them: I AM the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John 14:6
6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
It’s clear that Jesus used every-day events as a springboard for teaching eternal truths. He was setting an example of what all of us are called to do. In the Old Testament, Moses told the Israelites how they were to pass God’s truths along to each new generation. He said: Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 11:19
19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
That’s the kind of teaching that works. We need to be ready for “teachable moments” that come while we’re going about our daily lives: sitting down to breakfast, walking (or more likely for us, driving) our children to school, putting the kids to bed at night. All of these daily events provide opportunities to teach about God. That’s the way Jesus taught. He was always alert to “teachable moments” when he could tie eternal truth to the events of the moment.
Jesus made his last recorded I AM statement after the Last Supper. It is likely that he and his men were walking from the Upper Room to the Garden
where Jesus would be arrested. During that walk, they would have seen a prominent symbol that hung over the entrance of the Temple. The symbol was made of gold wire and beads, delicately twisted to look like a huge golden grape vine. Jesus may have pointed to that golden vine when he told his Apostles,
I AM the true vine.
John 15:1
The Vine and the Branches
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
Jesus was using a word-picture that was very familiar to his men. For one thing, grapes were central to Israel’s economy. The climate of Israel is ideal for growing healthy grapes. For another thing, the grapevine had always been a symbol of the nation of Israel. In fact, the symbol of the grapevine was on Israeli coins up until the time they were conquered by Rome.
In scripture, grapevines are used as three types of symbols, representing the past, present, and future.
The Past Vine symbolizes Israel as a choice vine that disappointed the vinedresser by producing only wild grapes. (Ps.80: 8-19, Isaiah 5:1-7
The Song of the Vineyard
1 I will sing for the one I love
a song about his vineyard:
My loved one had a vineyard
on a fertile hillside.
2 He dug it up and cleared it of stones
and planted it with the choicest vines.
He built a watchtower in it
and cut out a winepress as well.
Then he looked for a crop of good grapes,
but it yielded only bad fruit.
Jer.2:21, Ezek.19:10-14, Hosea 10:1
1 Israel was a spreading vine;
he brought forth fruit for himself.
As his fruit increased,
he built more altars;
as his land prospered,
he adorned his sacred stones.
The Future Vine symbolizes the earth in the last days … ripe for God’s judgment of wrath. (Rev.14:14-20)
The Present Vine is the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus said, I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man abides in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:5
5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
1. ABIDE John 15:1-9
The Vine and the Branches
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
The operative word here is ABIDE. This word is used 11 times in 11 verses. We can see that Abiding is necessary to produce any fruit. WE can also see that NOT abiding means the branch will be useless. So, what does it mean to ABIDE in Christ? Jesus made it a little more specific when He said: If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given you.

John 15:7
7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
To ABIDE in Christ means we spend time focusing on Him and His words. In practical terms, it means we spend time reading, studying, and meditating on the Bible. When God’s word abides in you, you are abiding in Christ.
I know that certain theologies demand that God alone is the active one when it comes to salvation. Some people see humans as passive receivers who have no part to play at all. But I find a different kind of emphasis here: the picture of the vine and the branch is one of partnership with God through connection to Christ.

We are told to ABIDE because it is something we can do … or not do. We have a part to play. In practical terms, we have a daily choice to make. Will we spend time in prayer? Will we open the Bible and read? Will we focus on Christ?
Will we spend time with other believers? If we fail to see that ABIDING is our job, we miss the message of this whole chapter.
The one who fails to abide is in a dangerous state. Jesus gives us reassuring promises for those who stay connected, but chilling warnings for those who turn loose.

o The unfruitful branch is taken away (vs.2)
o A branch cannot bear fruit and, in fact, can do absolutely nothing apart from the vine (vs.4-5)
o In the end, the one who does not abide is thrown away, cast into the fire, and burned (vs.6)
If we don’t abide in Christ, the consequences are terrible. But when we do ABIDE in Christ, we will have a wonderful outcome. It’s called Fruit-bearing! The purpose of the branch is to bear fruit, (otherwise why bother). Fruit bearing doesn’t require effort on our part. (When was the last time you saw a vine grunting and groaning, trying to pop those grapes out?) Fruit is the natural result of abiding.

While fruit comes from abiding, a good harvest DOES require effort on the part of the vinedresser. Jesus said, I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener.
John 15:1
The Vine and the Branches
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
The vine provides life, and the vinedresser provides what is needed for a good harvest.
God is willing to provide the expertise and the effort to cultivate and prune his Vineyard. Let us take time to look at all the ways God prunes us for fruitfulness. Today I want to focus on the two things John 15
The Vine and the Branches
1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.

This passage lets us know that we are branches connected to the vine, and that we are friends of Christ rather than just slaves of Christ. Those two connections imply to actions on our part: branches ABIDE, and friends OBEY.
2. Obey John 15:10-17
10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.
Jesus said to his disciples, “You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you slaves, for a slave does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”

John 15:14-15
14 You are my friends if you do what I command.
15 I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

This passage, adds an exciting dimension to our connection with Christ. Vines and branches have an organic or biological connection in which the vine does all the giving and the branch all the receiving. But friendship is another matter. Friendship is personal, and friendship is reciprocal.
So what does it mean to be Christ’s friend?
Well, for one thing, obeying Christ as his friend is more a matter of choice than it would be for a slave. After all, a slave could be executed for disobedience against the master. But a friend has the freedom to obey willingly and gladly. Also, Jesus mentions that he wants to share his plans with his friends. Friends care about what is important to their friend. Jesus told his men that together they possessed a shared ministry and a shared destiny. That gives us every reason to abide with and to obey our truest friend. What does it mean to abide and obey? Well, each one helps out with the other. The one who abides finds it easier to obey, and the obedient one is more comfortable abiding. On the other hand, the one who fails to abide is more likely to disobey, and the one who disobeys doesn’t feel comfortable abiding.
These things I have spoken to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.”
John 15:11
11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
The outcome for the obedient abider is joy to the full. That is a terrific reason to obey and abide.
CONCLUSION:
The final I AM of Jesus to his men on the night he was arrested gave both a promise and a command. As the vine, Jesus provides all the nourishment we need for life. As the vinedresser, God does all that is needed to give us fruitful lives. As the branches, our part is to ABIDE and to OBEY. If we abide in his love we can experience his joy to the full. If we obey him, we are his friends and share in His life and ministry.
How would you describe your connection with Christ today? Jesus is the vine. Is he your vine?
Are you an abiding branch thoroughly connected to him and hanging tight to the only source of life itself?