John 15:1~16:4 约翰福音 第十五章 第一节至第十六章 第四节

THE GOSPEL OF JOHN

FINAL WORDS OF JESUS (Part 3)

John 15:1-16:4


I.    The True Vine (15:1-17)


    A.    “I AM” Saying: “I am the true vine.”

1.    Here Jesus puts forth another of His “I am” statements.  In this saying, Jesus asserted that He was the “true vine” and that God was the gardener (v. 1).  The vine is one of the Old Testament figures used to illustrate the people of Israel.  In Psalm 80:8-19 Israel is the vine which God brought out of Egypt and planted in the ground which He has cleared to make room for it.  The Psalmist is saddened by the fact the vine (Israel) was not flourishing, that its defenses were demolished and it was ravaged by the enemy.  

2.    With this symbolism, we can see two scenarios that are representative of the Christian life:

a.    The one who is on the vine and producing fruit (Matt. 3:8; 7:16-20).

b.    The one who is on the vine who is not producing fruit.

3.    The productive vine was pruned for greater production, while the nonproductive vine was cut off for destruction.  The key to producing fruits is one’s relationship to the vine.  In order to produce fruit, one must “abide in the vine” (vv. 4-5, 7).  Apart from Christ, nothing can be accomplished (v. 5).

4.    The word translated “abide” means “to remain or stay.”  Remaining in the vine is not a static or passive activity.  In John 15:5, this word is in the present tense, which indicates continuous action.  It is the branch that remains and continues to remain in the vine that produces fruit.  


    B.    The Growth and Production of the Branches

1.    Jesus suggested a threefold progression of spiritual productivity:

            a.    Abiding (v. 1) brings fruit (v. 2).

            b.    Pruning (v. 2) brings more fruit (v. 2).

            c.    Continued abiding (v. 5) brings much fruit (v. 5).

2.    Jesus did not indicate the nature of the fruit, but Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that “the fruit of the Spirit love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…”


II.    Planted In Christ (15:18-16:4)


    A.    What is the result of a life that remains firmly planted in Christ?

1.    Jesus suggested that such a person would be hated by the world (v. 19).  Christ Himself was hated and rejected because of the conviction that pierced the heart of every person whom He encountered.

   

2.    The Psalmist predicted that Jesus would be hated without a cause:

a.    Psalm 35:19 - “Do not let those who are wrongfully my enemies rejoice over Me; nor let those who hate Me without cause wink maliciously.”

b.    Psalm 69:4 – “Those who hate Me without a cause are more than the hairs of My head; those who would destroy Me are powerful, being wrongfully My enemies.”

3.    Jesus was rejected and hated.  The disciples would also live in an atmosphere of persecution, hatred, and rejection following Jesus’ departure.  Those who remain firmly in Christ can expect the same kind of reception which the world gave Jesus.


    B.    The “Helper” Will Come

1.    Jesus also predicted that the Holy Spirit, also called “The Helper” would come and work through the disciples as they gave verbal witness to Jesus (15:26-27).

2.    The Holy Spirit, or “Helper”, is also called “the Spirit of Truth.”  People reject Jesus as “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).  So, when Jesus’ followers proclaim Him as the source of truth, people also reject them.

3.    Jesus told the disciples this so that they “may be kept from stumbling” (16:1).  Jesus prepared His disciples for the reality of the cross which they would also bear because of His name.



REVIEW QUESTIONS


1.    What are the two scenarios we can see in the parable of the vine and branches?  What is the parable’s main lesson?

2.    How do the branches of the vine produce fruit?

3.    What kind of fruit do Christians produce?

4.    What kind of reception can the believer who remains in the vine expect from the world?

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