4th Sunday of Easter
Remain in the Vine!
Text: John 15:1-8
“I am the bread of life . . . I am the light of the world . . . I am the gate . . . I am the Good Shepherd (that’s next Sunday) . . . I am the resurrection and the life . . . I am the way, the truth, and the life.” This week we hear the last of Jesus’ seven dearly loved “I am” statements. Jesus says, “I am the vine; you are the branches.”
Of the seven “I am” statements, this might be one of the most challenging for us to understand. We don’t live in an agricultural society. Most of us have no clue about growing things like grapes on a vine. We go to the store and pick out the fruit that looks juiciest and ripest and we take it right home to eat. We never even think about the hard work put in, the care and attention given to the branches, or the importance of the vine that the branches grew on. All we care about is the product, the fruit.
Yet while farming isn’t in our DNA, this is a metaphor that is simple enough for us to understand what Jesus is saying. It comes down to one key phrase that comes up over and over again—eight times in eight verses. Jesus tells us: Remain in the Vine! Read the rest of this entry
Text: John 15:1-8
Comforting and famous words from Jesus today: I am the vine, you are the branches.
If you were to sum up the entire section in one phrase it could be this: Remain in me.
You and I left to ourselves have nothing to do with the true vine, Jesus Christ. We aren’t a part of the vine and we never could be. Sinful and imperfect branches have no business being a part of a holy and perfect vine. Yet graciously Jesus has grafted us in to be branches that are now a part of the vine. He has cleaned (or pruned) us of our sin by forgiving us through his life and death in our place.
So Jesus gives us this encouragement over and over and over: Remain in me.
As we remain a part of Christ we will remain branches attached to the vine. As we remain a part of Christ we will remain branches that produce good fruits of love. As we remain a part of Christ we will remain branches that will stay attached for all eternity!
What a blessing to be a branch attached to the vine, Jesus Christ.
So dear friends . . . Remain in him!
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, in your mercy you have adopted us into your family as living branches attached to you, the great vine. Keep us firm and steadfast in our faith that we might remain in you and bear much fruit to your glory and the glory of our heavenly Father. We pray in your name. Amen.
This is the fourth weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is the book of John. It should only take about 10 minutes a day, or about 3 chapters a day to complete the assignment.
Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read John.
Background: From what we know, it seems as though John was the one disciple of Jesus who died of natural causes. He also seems to have lived the longest as he entered the glories of heaven around 100 A.D. Historical information also indicates that John was likely the bishop, or leader, of the church in Ephesus. We don’t know for sure about the timing, but the general consensus is that John wrote his gospel later on in life, perhaps between 85 and 90 A.D.
John is very clear with his message in this gospel. He shows the two true natures of Christ–his true humanity and his true divinity. From the very first verse John especially points to Jesus as true God, something that may have been under question already in this first century. A theme or purpose for the gospel could be taken from 20:31: John wrote these words so that we might believe in Jesus as our Savior from sin! Read the rest of this entry