December 16, 2014 Tuesday John 15: 1-17 I am always interested and intrigued by the agricultural images that Jesus tends to use in his parables. Even though we know that Joseph was a carpenter and that Jesus followed in his earthly father’s footsteps in the carpenter trade…Jesus never really uses carpenter metaphors in his teaching. About the only time is the teaching about the foolishness of building your house on sand. But Jesus intuitively knows that everyone is involved in sustaining their family by raising a crop or tending a vine. So he creates clarity in his teaching by talking about the vineyard, pruning, and fruitfulness. The ultimate message is about remaining close to the vine. Then he connects the image of the vine to his own life. Our job as disciples is to remain in Jesus so we can bear fruit that will last. I am wondering, what is the best way to accomplish the two of the key ingredients that are identified in this passage? The first issue is related to abiding in Jesus. The second is about being fruitful in our faith. Let me toss the question to you, what are you doing to abide in Christ…and what is your plan for fruitfulness during the Advent / Christmas season?
John 15: 1-17
I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. 2He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes* to make it bear more fruit. 3You have already been cleansed* by the word that I have spoken to you. 4Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become* my disciples. 9As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete. 12 ‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command you. 15I do not call you servants* any longer, because the servant* does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. 17I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.