I Am the Vine

This is the last of the seven I Am statements in John.

It’s also my last post before the Bible Bee locals test on Saturday.

Throughout John, Jesus has revealed more and more of who He is.  He is the Word, God incarnate.  He is the Life, shining into the darkness of our death.  He is the ultimate Truth, contained in human flesh.  His death and resurrection are the only way to the Father.  

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.” (John 15:1)

And now, in the upper room, during His last hours with the disciples, He gives them a series of commands.  “Wash one another’s feet.  Love as I have loved.  Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Believe in God, believe also in Me.”

He calls us to be part of an impossible glory – the glory of His self-giving, self-sacrificing love.  But that glory is further from our grasp than the stars themselves.

“Abide in Me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4)

Even our obedience to His commandments is dependent on His character; on the glorious truth of His love, His grace.  We can never fulfill His commands; we can never love as He did.  But by His grace and power, we can.

“I am the vine, you are the branches.  He who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me, you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)

The Father is glorified when we bear much fruit, when we prove to be His disciples (John 15:8).  What is that fruit?  “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35)

Through our love, we show His glory to the world.

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7)

Jesus answers prayers for the glory of the Father (John 14:13).  If we pray for fruit, He will answer those prayers.  We don’t have to be discouraged, we don’t have to try to do it on our own – we can’t.  But He has given us a promise:  if we ask, we will receive.  He can and will work through us to bear fruit for His glory.

For my Bible Bee friends – in a very few days, you will take the test.  You have spent all summer studying the person and work of Jesus,being immersed in His word.  God promises that His word will never return void.  Abide in Him; let His words abide in you.  Believe in Him, and do not let your heart be troubled.  Don’t stress about the test.  Instead, pray that Christ will work through you, through His Spirit and through His word in your heart, to bear fruit that would show the truth of His love to those around you.  Seek His glory, and His alone!

//Other Scripture quoted or referenced ~ John 1:1-5; 13:13,34; 14:1, 6; Isaiah 55:11//

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