John 15:1–11 (NKJV)
Beginning in John 15, Jesus offers a final discourse or teaching over the next three chapters. This reading addresses His analogy of the kingdom and a vineyard.
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.John 15:1-4
Jesus uses this analogy to demonstrate several principles. First, Jesus is the source. He is the vine and we should develop from Him. Second, the Father is the vinedresser or husbandman of the vineyard, and He prunes the system to make the branches more profitable. Jesus then instructs His disciples to abide in Him. This signifies a relationship, one of connection on an organic level. We must be connected to the vine in a way that allows us to produce fruit because He sources us with the supply needed to be productive.
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.John 15:5-8
Jesus reiterates the teaching here, adding that unproductive vines are thrown into the fire, but that productive vines will live in power, receiving their desires. In the productive life, disciples bring glory to the Father. In return, the branches are blessed richly!
9 “As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.John 15:9-11
11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
Jesus’ final thoughts in this passage then move into a discussion of His love. Jesus is loved by the Father, and Jesus loves His disciples. He calls Christians to abide in His love. This word abide occurs several times in this passage. It simply means remain, stay, or abide. Consistent connection with Christ will make for a productive life for the Lord. Keep His commandments. That is possible through consistent prayer and study of God’s word. Cutting oneself off from the truth and presence of God makes one weak and unproductive. Don’t allow the distractions and temptations of the world to pull you away from fellowship with Christ. Instead, live in constant contact and connection with the Savior. He will bring you joy, abiding joy, full joy, if you abide in Him.