The Vine and the Branches
1 “I am the True Vine, and my Father is the Gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
4Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.
5 “I am the Vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.
6If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.
9 “As the Father has loved Me, so have I loved you. Now remain in My love. 10 If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commands and remain in His love.
11I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
12 My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. 14You are My friends if you do what I command.
15I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.
16You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.
17 This is my command: Love each other.
I planted two kinds of vine trees in my backyard two and half years ago. Thompson Seedless and Concord Grapes were they.
Recently I cut off the branches that did not bear fruit this year and pruned the braches that I hope will bear fruit this year. This skill I learned from YouTube.
The passage above refers to the spiritual relationship between the Vine Dresser (Father), the Vine Tree (Son) and the Branch (you and me).
Now Christ says this of His Father, both with respect to Himself the Vine, and with respect to the branches that were in Him: The Father was the husbandman(vine dresser) to Him; He planted the vine of His human nature, and filled it with all the graces of the Spirit; He supported it, upheld it, and made it strong for Himself, for the purposes of His Grace, and for His Own Glory; and took infinite delight in it, being to Him a pleasant plant, a plant of renown.
The concern this husbandman has with the branches. The Jewish people are compared to a vine which God had planted, Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:8-16; Joel 1:7; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 19:10. When Jesus says He was the True Vine, perhaps allusion is made to Jeremiah 2:21, “I had planted you like a choice vine of sound and reliable stock. How then did you turn against Me into a corrupt, wild vine?”
The word “true,” here, is used in the sense of real, genuine. He really and truly gives what is emblematically represented by a vine. The point of the comparison or the meaning of the figure is this: A vine yields proper juice and nourishment to all the branches, whether these are large or small. All the nourishment of each branch and tendril passes through the main stalk, or the vine, that springs from the earth.
So Jesus is the source of all real strength and grace to His disciples. He is their leader and teacher, and imparts to them, as they need, grace and strength to bear the fruits of holiness and in this context the Lord says;
“Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.”