The Divine Vine – A new and deeper in-depth look into John 15:1-12


Why is this needed? It is needed because it is my belief that the message within this message from Jesus Christ is not being taught correctly. As we go through this I hope this comes to light and helps for those of you reading to awaken to this and help spread it to those that need to hear this and come to a new level of understanding in their relationship with God through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus, the True Vine
John 15
1 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
5 “Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
9 “I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love. 10 When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. 11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! 12 This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. 13 There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14 You are my friends if you do what I command. 15 I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me. 16 You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name. 17 This is my command: Love each other. (NLT)
I read through several commentaries on these verses and each amazed me on how they twisted the words of Jesus to suite their own desires of not be cut off from God. It was shocking to say the least. That is why I am here writing this. So we will go at this verse by verse, because the true meaning of these words of the risen Christ are extremely important to know and understand.
Verse 1: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. (KJV)
I – ego – a primary pronoun of the first person. I (only expressed when emphatic.) [Strong’s Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, 2010] {Strong’s}
a – emphatic – done or said in a strong way and without any doubt [Cambridge Dictionary] {CD}
Here is where we need to go deeper though. For John, especially when quoting Jesus, there is a more profound and powerful imagery that comes out. With the simple word “I” Jesus shows His resurrected form. In these teachings that are given they do not follow the normal syntax. They reach to a new level like saying: “He is light. But He is the true and proper light which alone deserves this name.” [Theological Dictionary of the New Testament] {TDNT}
The true – alethinos – truthful – “true” which denotes the sense of real, ideal, genuine. [Strong’s]
In this deep look we see here Jesus saying “the true” is not just speaking of “true” or “genuine.” He is actually saying “divine.” [TDNT]
a – divine – connected with a god or like a god. [CD]
Vine – ampelos – deeply though we find that there were others that called themselves the vine. Examples: the Dionysus cult, the Mandaean religion. [TDNT]
Just in these four words Jesus is showing that He is the true and divine vine, and no other can come to God except through being a branch upon His vine.
Father – pater – a nourisher, protector, upholder; of the nearest ancestor. [Strong’s]
In the deeper study within TDNT it is showing us the “harmony of the Father and the Son.” Of the two working together for the good of those that are on the vine which is Jesus. {book V p. 999 – 1001}
The husbandman – georgos – a land-worker, i.e. farmer, a vinedresser [Strong’s]
a – vinedresser – a person who cultivates and prunes grapevines [Dictionary.com]
Verse 2 – Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. (KJV)
Every – pas- all things [Strong’s]
To quote the TDNT:
“The uniqueness of the NT view is that here all ideas of totality relate to a specific history of creation and salvation. As compared with the OT, the NT is distinguished especially by a richer soteriology.”
Soteriology – theology dealing with salvation as effected by Jesus Christ.
Branch – klema – a limb or shoot [Strong’s]
a – shoot – the first part of a plant to appear above the ground as it develops from a seed, or any new growth on an already existing plant [CD]
b – limb – a large branch of a tree [CD]
Shoot, young twig, branch, shoot of the vine [TDNT]
So this means “Every branch both young and old upon the vine which is Jesus Christ,” as the next words state.
In – en
“The ‘en’ of Fellowship in John. Exclusively in John’s Gospel and 1 John. We have a distinctive ‘en’ of religious fellowship.” [TDNT]
Meaning a free will relationship between the branch (humanity), the Vine (Jesus Christ), and the Vinedresser (God).
Beareth – phero – bear, bring forth [Strong’s]
Fruit – karpos – of works or deeds [Strong’s]
“This power is fellowship with Christ.” [TDNT]
a – fellowship – a friendly feeling that exists between people who have a shared interest or are doing something as a group [CD]
he taketh away – airo – to take up or away; to take away what is attached to anything, to remove [Strong’s]
It is here that we come to an issue. In the many commentaries I read they go with the definition of “lift up,” which doesn’t make any sense. It doesn’t even flow with the words of the Bible itself. When they translated the Bible to English in the early 1600s and then finalized it in 1611 they agreed upon the wording “he taketh away,” not “he lifteth up.” Those that made these commentaries made it sound as if they were lifting up to God those committing sin. This is contrary to the teachings within the Bible. We do not raise up the sin, we raise up ourselves to the altar seeking the removal of sin. Jesus Himself knew that this day would occur. So he repeats Himself in verse six and clarifies His meaning with more detail, which we will get to later. Their interpretation implies raising oneself up before God. If their intent to say that unfruitful are seeking forgiveness and wish to receive forgiveness and to try to bear fruit. There can be some merit to that. However Jesus made Himself clear on this matter elsewhere in the Bible as well.
Revelation 3:15 “I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! 16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!”
In John, Jesus states that God Himself will remove the branch that does not bear fruit. Not all branches that do not bear fruit lay upon the ground, but are a part of the vine itself.
Here in Revelation the Glorified Christ is making it clear that he will spit those out that are lukewarm. Using Christ’s words in John those that bear fruit would compare to those that are hot in the Revelation. So those that are cold in Revelation equates to those that deny Jesus altogether and live in sin. So that would mean that those that are lukewarm would be those that acknowledge Jesus Christ as their Savior and so are a branch upon the vine, or were attached to the vine that is Jesus Christ. However, they bear no fruit and so are living in sin. So God takes them away in John and Christ spits them out in Revelation. Thus removing them from His fellowship cutting them from the vine. For very few fall upon the ground. Most stay on the vine unless they are cut off from it.
He purgeth – kathairo – to cleanse, to prune, to expiate – purge
a – cleanse – to make something completely clean
b – expiate – to show that you are sorry for bad behavior by doing something or accepting punishment
c – purge – to make someone or something free of something evil or harmful.
That – hina – in order that [Strong’s]
More – pleion – more in quality, number or quality [Strong’s]
Verse 3 – Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Now – ede – at (or by) this time [Strong’s]
Ye – hymeis – yourself, you [Strong’s]
Clean – katharos – free from impure admixture, without blemish, spotless [Strong’s]
“In both John and 1 John the question of the full purity of Christians is discussed. It is affirmed absolutely in theory in John 15:3.” [TDNT]
Through – dia – denoting the channel of an act [Strong’s]
The word – logos – the teachings of Jesus to the disciples that eventually became the gospels.
“But the person who receives and keeps” the teachings of Christ (the word) is now clean [TDNT in quotations]
I have spoken – laleo – the use of this word was to show that Jesus was like a parent talking to His children, at that point the disciples.
Verse 4 – Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (KJV)
Abide – meno – remain, dwell, continue [Strong’s]
“…… God abides in Christ. Believers abide in Christ, and Christ in them. God abides in believers, and believers in God. The eschatological promise of salvation becomes immediate possession in virtue of this statement in the present tense.” [TDNT book IV pg. 576]
Cannot – ou, dynamai
a: ou – also [Strong’s]
b: dynamai – to be able or possible, can, cannot, to be able to have power [Strong’s]
Bear – phero – to bear, carry, being moved, borne along [Strong’s]
“The term has the special sense of bearing fruit…… the vine with branches that bear fruit.” [TDNT]
Of – apo – off, away (from something near) [Strong’s]
Except – ean me – unless, except [Strong’s]
It abide – meno – to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) [Strong’s] See meno above for TDNT
No more – oude, houto
a: oude – nor however, neither, nor, not even
b: houto – in this way
Verse 5 – I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (KJV)
And I – kago – from kai and ego: likewise me
Much – polys – much, many, great, abundant
Without – choris – separately or apart from [Strong’s]
Me – emou – of me, mine, my [Strong’s]
Do – poieo – to make or do [Strong’s]
The use of this word “poieo” had it usage done primarily to the actions, works and miracles of Jesus Christ. [TDNT] The use here stating that only with Jesus in and with you can you do holy works.
Nothing – ou, oudeis
a: oudeis – not even one, none, nobody, nothing [Strong’s]
verse 6 – If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. (KJV)
If – ean me – see “except” above.
A man – tis – some or any person or object [Strong’s]
Me – emoi – to me [Strong’s]
He is cast – ballo – to throw [Strong’s]
“To throw” or “to cast,” “to cast off fruit. ‘Often in the NT “boallo” is used in different ways in connection with the thought of judgement, partly as a committal to the element which exercises it. Partly of expulsion from the community of salvation, when used with “exo.” [TDNT]
Forth – exo – out [Strong’s]
As – hos – in that manner [Strong’s]
And – kai – and, also, even, so, then, too. [Strong’s]
Is withered – xeraino – to desiccate, to shrivel [Strong’s]
Men gather – synago – sunago – to lead together, collect or convene, to entertain [Strong’s]
Them into – eis – to or into [Strong’s]
The fire – pyr – pur – fire [Strong’s]
A judgement [TDNT]
They are burned – kaio – to set on fire, consume [Strong’s]
With the TDNT the emphasis of this word is keyed to self-burning. Voluntarily giving oneself over to be burned.
The main takeaways from the translation of this verse is if you accept Christ as your Savior and you choose not to follow his teaching and live a truly Christian life. You instead choose to live in the world of man which entertains you. You are broken off from the Divine Vine that is Christ and you are cast willingly into the fires of judgement. Which agrees with Revelation 3:15-16.
This also shows that we must actively and with full knowledge follow the teachings within the Bible and if it is called a sin in the Bible and we are told not to live in this fashion. Then that is what we MUST do as our part of this relationship with Jesus Christ. It is not a one-sided relationship. We have an active part within it, which we need to do or we volunteer to lose our salvation and to be removed from Jesus and His Heavenly Father. This is verified in the next verse.
Verse 7 – If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (KJV)
Verse 8 – Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. (KJV)
Herein – en, touto
a: touto – to (in, with, or by) this (person or thing) [Strong’s]
Glorified – doxazo – to render (or esteem) glorious [Strong’s]
Shall ye be – ginomai – to cause to be, to become [Strong’s]
Disciples – mathetes – a learner [Strong’s]
Verse 9 – As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. (KJV)
As – kathos – just (or inasmuch) as, that [Strong’s]
Hath loved – agapao – to love (is a social or moral sense) [Strong’s]
“In brotherly love the circle of the Father, the Son and the people of the Son constitutes a fellowship which is not of this world. The love of God is the final reality for life if the fellowship, and abiding in His love is the law of its life” [TDNT]
Love – agape – affection or benevolence [Strong’s]
Verse 10 – If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. (KJV)
Here Jesus makes it very clear. We are to follow the teachings within the Bible and to follow the commandments. What most don’t realize is that the original Ten Commandments are not all the commandments. There entire book of Deuteronomy contains commandments that we should also take into consideration. Should we follow all of them? In certain situations I would say not fully but as closely as possible keeping the ten in mind. In addition Jesus himself added 2 more commandments:
Mark 12: 28 And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: 33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbor as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices. 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question. (KJV)
Verse 11 – 12: These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. 12 This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you. (KJV)
Here in verse 12 Jesus says basically the same thing He said in Mark 12:31. For if we treat everyone as we would treat ourselves how can we commit any sin? The problem is we live in a corrupt body and we listen to the world more than we should. That is why we should strive follow all of the teachings within the Bible. To call what is a sin a sin. For when we sin we place ourselves before God and do not love the Lord God with all our heart.
What many do not realize, especially those that label Christians as “bigots” and “racist” that they are the ones that are being the “bigots” and “racist.” For any who truly seek the love of God and Jesus Christ could never look down upon any other human being. Those that look down upon others are living in sin, by the very fact that they think themselves greater than another human being of any race, creed, gender, or religious belief. For all humanity is our neighbor. We are all equals, we all sin. However, when we accept Jesus Christ as our Savior and strive to live our lives as we are taught by the Bible. We live in a relationship with Jesus, which is all He is asking of us. So we will be a part of the Divine Vine and bear much fruit that is Holy and wonder and a sweet sent unto God our Father.
So obey the laws of the road, for when you speed you sin.(Titus 3:1) Treat all others as if they are a child of God. Because you know what they are. Even if they choose not to follow the Bible and live in sin. That is their choice. Not yours, but they are still a child of God. And one day, for many it will be too late though, they will see that God is real, and His Son is our King the Lord Jesus Christ.
All we can do is endeavor to live our own lives in a full relationship with Jesus, by following the twelve commandments and doing our best to turn away from sin. However, when we stumble, which we all will. We acknowledge this sin and ask for forgiveness and challenge ourselves not to repeat it. To turn it over to Jesus to ask Him to take it from us.

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