The Berean Expositor
Volume 50 - Page 164 of 185
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Chapter 15:
pp. 72 - 76
"I am the true vine, and My Father is the husbandman" (15: 1).
Our Lord is going to use the figure of a vine to describe the work of God the Father
preparing mankind for eternal life and all that will be required in that future state. In this
opening sentence it is impressed on us that God the Father is the Husbandman, the one in
charge of the operation. The Lord Jesus Christ is the "True Vine" from which all the
branches must come and upon which they all depend for life and sustenance. Finally the
purpose of the branches is to bear fruit.
The Greek word for `true' here is alethinos. The Companion Bible says of this word
"that which has truth for its base". Compare a similar usage of the word in John 6: 32,
"I am the true bread". While the emphasis is "true" as distinct from "fictitious", the
usage has a close affinity with `truth' itself. We mention this detail to underline the fact
that this chapter, in common with so much of John's message, has the channel of
knowledge and power as coming to us from God the Father--through His Son--through
His Word--and finally through the Spirit of Truth.
The nourishment that is fed to the branches by Christ, the True Vine, has all been
taught in earlier chapters. Living Water (John 4: 10); True Bread (6: 32); flesh and
blood (6: 56), and remember Christ added to this last reference "the words that I speak
unto you, they are spirit, and they are life" to which again He adds "thereby the Spirit
quickeneth (our spirit) but our flesh profiteth nothing" (6: 63).
The branches must be "in Christ" and they must receive nourishment by the Word and
the Spirit of Truth. John knows the value of stating opposites to enforce the positive:
". . . . . the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye,
except abide in Me" (15: 4).
". . . . . without Me ye can do nothing" (15: 5).
"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" (15: 6).
There are two aspects of "fruit". (1) There is the fruit of the Spirit in our own lives
and which we should at all times display:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness,
faith, meekness, temperance (self-control)" (Gal. 5: 22, 23).
". . . . . walk as children of light: (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and
righteousness and truth); proving what is acceptable unto the Lord" (Eph. 5: 8-10).
(2) The believer should be ready as he is called, to witness to the world by teaching
from the Word of God or assisting others in this ministry through the spoken, written,
printed or tape recorded word. Those who as a result of our service have been brought