John 15: The True Vine

Where was Jesus when he talked about the vine and the gardener?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
King James
John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.

How patient is God in cutting off unfruitful branches?

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Matthew 3:10 “His axe is raised, ready to sever the roots of every tree that does not produce good fruit. You will be chopped down and thrown into the fire!”
Luke 13:7–9 “So he said to his gardener, ‘Look, for three years I’ve expected to pick fruit from this fig tree, and it is still barren. Cut it down. Why should it be allowed any space in the ground?’ “‘Sir,’ the gardener said, ‘give it one more year to bear fruit. I will cultivate it and fertilize it. Maybe it will yield figs next season. If not, I will cut it down.'”
John 15:2 “He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. He prunes the branches that bear fruit so they will produce more.”
King James
Matthew 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Luke 13:7–9 Then said he unto the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why cumbereth it the ground? And he answering said unto him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it: And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that thou shalt cut it down.
John 15:2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

How much pain do the branches feel when they are pruned?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
John 15:2–3 “He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. He prunes the branches that bear fruit so they will produce more. You are pruned by the words I have spoken to you.”
King James
John 15:2–3 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

What must we do to remain “attached to the vine”?

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John 15:4–5 “Remain attached to me, and I will live in you. As the branch must be on the vine to bear fruit, so must you stay joined to me. I am the vine, and you are the branches. You will bear much fruit if you remain in me and I live in you, but without me you can do nothing.”
King James
John 15:4–5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

How does God deal with those who don’t want to be attached to “the vine”?

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John 15:6 “Anyone who does not remain in me is like a withered branch to be thrown away. Such branches are gathered, cast into the fire, and burned.”
Romans 1:24–25 God has given them free will to go their own way so they can enjoy their sinful pleasures, so they can do shameful acts with one another. In this process, they exchange the truth of God for the lies they want to believe, worshiping the creature instead of the Creator, who alone is worthy of eternal adoration. Yes, this is true.
King James
John 15:6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Romans 1:24–25 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

Under what conditions do we get what we ask for?

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Matthew 7:7 “Ask and you will receive. Seek and you will find. Knock and the door will be opened to you.”
John 14:13–14 “To reveal the Father’s glory in the Son, I will do whatever you ask under my direction and authority.”
15:7 “If you remain in me and my words direct your life, whatever you ask will be done for you.”
15:16 “You did not choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to bear fruit that has a lasting impact. Whatever you ask the Father under my direction and authority, he will give you.”
James 4:2–3 You want things but don’t have them, so you plot and prey upon others to get them. Still you don’t get what you want, because you’re not asking God for what he wants. Even when you ask, your motives are wrong when you seek more for yourself, not to help others.
King James
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
John 14:13–14 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
James 4:2–3 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

If we’re not to bear thorns and thistles, what kinds of “fruit” should be visible in our lives?

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John 15:8 “When you bear much fruit, you glorify my Father and show that you are my disciples.”
Galatians 5:22–23 If the Holy Spirit is guiding your life, you show true love—giving to people without regard to whether they can return the favor. You have joy, peace and patience in stressful situations. Kindness, generosity, and faithfulness expresses who you are, not what people deserve. You are gentle and even-tempered. There’s no law against such behavior.
King James
John 15:8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Galatians 5:22–23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

What do you think are the most important aspects of love? How do we get it, and how do we give it?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 15:9–10 “I have loved you like my Father has loved me. Remain in my love. If you obey my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.”
1 Corinthians 13:4–7 Love is patient and kind, never envious, boastful, or proud. Love isn’t rude, arrogant, or overly sensitive, taking no offense when wronged, finding no pleasure in wrongdoing, rejoicing in doing right. Love never gives up but always has hope, enduring forever.
King James
John 15:9–10 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
1 Corinthians 13:4–7 Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

What are the benefits and consequences of loving our enemies?

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John 15:11–13 “I have told you these things so you may have the joy I have, full and overflowing. This is my commandment: love others as I have loved you. There is no greater love than for a man to sacrifice his life for his friends.”
King James
John 15:11–13 These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

What are the differences between a stranger, a neighbor, and a friend?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 15:14 “You are my friends if you do all that I instruct you to do.”
King James
John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

How might a servant be distinguished from a slave? A master compared to a friend?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 15:15 “I have called you servants, but no longer, because servants do not know their master’s business. Because you are my friends, I have told you everything that I have heard from my Father.”
King James
John 15:15 Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.

When Jesus commanded love for one another, why didn’t he mention our need to love God?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 15:17 “This is my commandment: love one another.”
King James
John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

How is the promise of the world’s hatred any comfort to Christians?

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John 15:18–21 “If the world hates you, remember that it first hated me. If you belonged to the world, its people would love you as one of their own. Because you do not belong to the world but I have chosen you, its people will hate you. Remember what I said before. The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will persecute you. If they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will treat you the same way they treated me, because they do not know the one who sent me.”
King James
John 15:18–21 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.

What reasons do people in the world have for hating Christians?

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John 15:22–25 “If I had not spoken to them, they would not have had their sin exposed, but now they have no excuse. Anyone who hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done miracles that no man has ever done, they would not be to blame. But they saw my deeds and hated both me and my Father. This fulfills what the scripture says: They hated me for no reason.
King James
John 15:22–25 If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin. He that hateth me hateth my Father also. If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.

What does the Holy Spirit have to say about Jesus?

Author’s Thoughts
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John 15:26 “When I send the Guide from my Father, the Spirit of Truth, he will speak about me.”
King James
John 15:26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:

What should we have to say about Jesus?

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John 15:27 “You also will be my witnesses, because you have been with me from the beginning.”
King James
John 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.