Jesus is The True Vine, Biblical meaning and explanations.
Perhaps you have ever heard a very famous phrase that Christ said ” I am the true vine “, but what does it mean? Why did Christ say this? With what characteristics of the earthly vine would you have been relating your work for this parable? Learn that and much more here.
I am the true vine
Jesus had already said: “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12); “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35); “I am the way” (John 14: 6); and “I am the door” (John 10: 9).
At key points in his ministry, Christ emphasized his equality with God in the clearest possible terminology. The strongest claims of his deity employed the name God used when the Father first revealed himself to Moses; “I AM” (Exodus 3:14).
One night before his death, he told his disciples; “I am the vine.” Like the other times he had used the expression “I am”, this backs up his deity.
Jesus Christ affirmed that he is the true vine, and his father (God), is the vinedresser. He also said that every branch in Him that does not bear fruit is taken away; and all those that are fruitful are pruned by the Father so that they bear even more fruit.
If someone does not remain in Jesus Christ, he is thrown like a branch and withers, he is thrown into the fire.
But if otherwise you remain in Jesus, following his words, you can make whatever request you want, and he will grant it.
What did Jesus mean by this?
The metaphor in John 15 is of a vine and its branches. The vine is the source and sustenance of the life of the branches, and the branches must remain in the vine to live and bear fruit. Jesus, of course, is the vine, and the branches are people.
While it is obvious that the fruitful branches represent true Christians, the identity of the unsuccessful ones is in doubt.
Some Bible students say that barren branches are Christians who do not bear spiritual fruit. Others believe they are non-Christians.
As always, however, we must look at the context to get the best answer.
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The true meaning of the metaphor becomes clear when we consider the characters in that night’s drama. The disciples were with Jesus. He had loved them to the fullest, he had comforted them with the words of John chapter 14.
The Father was in the first place in his thoughts, because he was thinking about the events of the next day. But he was also aware of someone else: the traitor. Judas had been fired from the community when he rejected Jesus’ last call for love .
All the characters in the drama were in the mind of Jesus. He saw the eleven, whom he loved deeply and passionately. He was aware of the Father, with whom he shared an infinite love. And he must have grieved for Judas, whom he had loved unconditionally.
All of these characters play a role in the Jesus metaphor. The vine is Christ; The vinedresser is the Father. The fruit branches represent the eleven and all true disciples of the church age. The fruitless branches represent Judas and all those who were never true disciples.
A branch that is actually connected to the vine is safe and will never be removed. But one that only appears to be connected, one that only has a shallow junction, will be removed. If it does not have the life of the vine flowing through it, it will not bear fruit. Those are the branches of Judas.
There are people who, like Judas, seem, by human perception, to be united with Christ, but they are apostates condemned to hell. They can attend church, know all the correct answers, and go through religious movements; but God will eliminate them and they will be uprooted. Others, like the eleven, are genuinely connected to the vine and bear fruit.
Christ is the true vine
Jesus was not presenting a new idea by using the metaphor of a vine and branches. In the Old Testament, the vine of God was Israel. He used them to fulfill his purpose in the world, and he blessed those connected with them. He was the vinedresser; He took care of the vine, cut it down and cut off branches that did not bear fruit. But the vine of God degenerated and did not bear fruit.
God had done everything possible for Israel to produce fruit, but it gave nothing. So he removed his wall and left it unprotected. Then it was trampled on by foreign nations and razed to the ground. Israel was no longer the vine of God; he had lost his privilege.
Now there is a new vine. The blessing no longer comes through a covenant relationship with Israel. Fruit and blessing come through connection with Jesus Christ. Jesus is the true vine . In Scripture, the word true is often used to describe what is eternal, heavenly, and divine. Israel was imperfect, but Christ is perfect.
Jesus chose the figure of a vine for several reasons. The humility of a vine shows its humility. It also shows a close, permanent and vital union between the vine and the branches. It is a symbol of belonging, because the branches belong entirely to the vine; If the branches are to live and bear fruit, they must depend entirely on the vine for their nourishment, support, strength, and vitality.
However, many of those who call themselves Christians do not depend on Christ. Instead of being attached to the true vine, they are tied to a bank account. Others are attached to their education. Some have tried to make vineyards with popularity, fame, personal abilities, possessions, relationships, or carnal desires.
The father is the vinedresser
In the metaphor, Christ is a plant, but the Father is a person. Certain false teachers have claimed that this shows that Christ is not divine, but lower in character and essence than the Father. They say that if He is God, the parts of Him and the Father in the metaphor should be equal; He should be the vine, and the Father should be the root of the vine.
But to make such a claim is to miss the whole point of the Jesus metaphor and the reason why the apostle John included it in his Gospel. While affirming your equality in essence with the Father, by certifying that you are the source and sustainer of life, you also emphasize the fundamental difference in your role and that of the Father. The point is that the Father cares for the Son and for those united to the Son by faith.
The disciples were familiar with the role of the vinedresser. After planting a vine, the vinedresser has two duties. First, it cuts fruitless branches, which remove the sap from the fruit branches. If the sap is wasted, the plant will bear less fruit. Then, constantly trim the shoots of the fruit branches so that all the sap is concentrated in the fruits.
The fruitless branches that are cut are useless. Since they don’t burn well, they can’t even be used to heat a house. They are thrown into the piles and burned as garbage. As verse 2 says, they are “taken away.” He doesn’t repair them; He takes them off.
Those who are removed only appear to be connected to Christ, but do not really remain in him. They were never saved. They are branches of Judas that don’t really follow Jesus, and they don’t bear fruit. At some point, the Father eliminates them to preserve the life and fruitfulness of the other branches.
The fruit branches are pruned so that they bear more fruit. We know that these branches represent Christians, because only Christians can bear fruit. Pruning is not done just once, it is a constant process. The father prunes a branch to make it bear more fruit. After continuous pruning, it bears a lot of fruit. As verse 8 says: “My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit.”
Unsuccessful branches are removed
Fruiting and non-fruiting branches grow quickly and must be pruned carefully. If there is to be a large quantity of fruit, the unsuccessful branches should be removed, as well as the shoots that grow on the fruit branches. Jesus said that his followers were like mature branches that bore fruit but needed pruning.
Every Christian brings some fruit, you may have to search long for even a small grape, but if you search long enough, you will find something. The fruit of salvation is good works. That does not mean that a person is saved by works, but works are evidence that faith is genuine.
Jesus said that a genuine believer can be tested by its fruit. In Matthew 7: 16-17 he said: “You will know them by their fruits. A thorn tree does not produce grapes, right? If the tree is good it will bear good fruit, however if the tree is bad, the fruits it will bear will to be bad. ”The illustration of Jesus would be meaningless if every Christian did not bear at least some fruit.
Fruitful branches are pruned
Although the fruitless branches are removed from the vine and burned, the Father tenderly cares for the fruit branches. In verse 2, Jesus told his disciples: that each branch that bears fruit is pruned so that it continues to bear fruit. The vinedresser prunes the branches so that they bear much fruit. Kathairo is the Greek word for “prune” or “clean.” In agriculture, he referred to cleaning corn husks and cleaning the soil before planting crops. In the metaphor of the vine, it refers to the cleaning of branch shoots.
Pruning is also necessary in our spiritual lives. The Father eliminates sins and superfluous things that limit our fruitfulness. One of the best ways to cleanse ourselves is to allow suffering and problems to enter our lives. Sometimes it hurts, and we wonder if he knows what he’s doing. It may seem that we are the only branch that is pruned, while other branches need it more. But the vinedresser knows what he is doing.
Spiritual pruning can take many forms. It can be illness, difficulties, or loss of material possessions. It can be persecution or slander of non-Christians. For some it is the loss of a loved one or the pain in a relationship. Or it can be a combination of difficulties. Whatever the method, the effect is to narrow our focus and strengthen the quality of our fruit.
Whatever pruning method God uses, we can be sure that He cares about us and wants us to bear a lot of fruit. He wants to free us from the shoots that drain our life and energy. He continues to care throughout our lives to keep us spiritually healthy and productive.
If we remember that God is trying to make us more fruitful, we can look to the goal beyond the pruning process. It is exciting to realize that God wants our lives to bear much fruit. Hebrews 12: 7 encourages us to have a proper perspective on God’s perfecting process.
Jesus Christ is our true vine, let us not be those fruitless branches that will finally be cut off. Let us remain in Christ bearing fruit as true Christians who follow God in obedience. If we ever feel that life is shaking us, let’s remember the pruning process, our Lord is testing us in some way.