TEXT: JOHN 15:1-2
INTRO: This Sunday is Palm Sunday, but, in our study of John’s Gospel, we are actually farther along than the Triumphal Entry. We are already at the Thursday evening when Jesus is about to be arrested. Chap. 14 ends with Jesus saying, “Arise, let us go from here.” And with that, they leave the Upper Room and head for the Garden of Gethsemane.
I. THE TRUE VINE AND THE VINEDRESSER. (1)
A. READ v. 1. Many scholars believe that this conversation takes place as the Lord and His disciples pass by the Temple on which there is a large door with a golden relief of a Vine.
1.) Ps. 80:8-11, “You removed a vine from Egypt: You drove out the nations and planted it. The mountain was covered with its shadow; and the cedars of God with its boughs. It was sending out its branches to the sea, and its shoots to the River.”
Is. 5:1b-2, “My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill. And He dug it all around, removed its stones, and planted it with the choicest vine. And He built a tower in the middle of it and hewed out a wine vat in it. Then He expected it to produce good grapes, but it produced only worthless ones. He continues in vs.7, “For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts is the house of Israel, and the men of Judah His delightful plant.”
2.) The claim of Jesus is that He is the “true Vine,” He is the intended servant of Israel.
Jer. 2;21 explains, “Yet I planted you a choice vine, a completely faithful seed. How then have you turned yourself before Me into denigrate shoots of a foreign vine?”
For 400 years (from Malachi – Matthew) they struggled with various pagan influences and enticements. Jesus is claiming that He represents what was originally planned for the people of God.
B. As we pointed out, the prophets saw the Father, Yahweh, as the owner and dresser of the vineyard. But the nation had fought against the pruning and preparing necessary for it to stay healthy. It hated discipline, seeking to please itself rather than God.
C. This is not saying that Israel is forsaken and no longer of worth. Rom. 9:6-8, “For they are not all Israel who are descended from Israel; neither are they all children because they are Abraham’s descendants. But ‘through Isaac your descendants will be named.’ That is, it is not the children of flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.” Israel is not forgotten, but it is severely pruned from uselessness to productiveness.
II. THE WORK OF THE VINEDRESSER IN THE VINEYARD. (2)
A. READ vs. 2. 1.) First, each branch is considered according to its fruitfulness. Now, at this point we must discuss what is meant by “fruit.” a.) One is the physical development of the branch. 2.) Second it grows leaves. The leaves give an appearance of life and vitality.
Matt. 23:1, 5-7, “The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses . . . .but they do all their deeds to be noticed by men: for they broaden their phylacteries and they lengthen the tassels of their garments. And they love the place of honor at the banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the market places, and being called by men ‘Rabbi.’”
B. FRUIT: 1.) Gal. 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” 2.) Col. 1:10-12, “so that you may walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God, strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for attaining of all steadfastness and patience, joyously giving thanks to the Father.” 3.) Rom. 16:5b, “Greet Epaenetus, my beloved, who is the first convert in Christ from Asia.” Greek Convert = fruit.
FRUIT: “Christian character, Christian conduct, and Christian converts.”
Jesus is the Vine, the Father is the vine keeper: Are we grafted in and growing? Are we bearing fruit in our character, in our conduct, and the making of converts?