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Read John 15

The Vine and the Branches

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He 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. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also 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.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10 If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11 I 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. 13 Greater love has no one than this: 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 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. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. 17 This is my command: Love each other.

The World Hates the Disciples

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. 24 If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. 25 But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’

The Work of the Holy Spirit

26 “When the Advocate comes, whom I will send to you from the Father—the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father—he will testify about me. 27 And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.

Go Deeper

This is one of the most well known, often quoted sections in all of Scripture. Jesus is in the middle of his farewell address to the disciples and He is trying to communicate everything He wants them to know as He prepares for what awaits. The passage begins with a famous metaphor (and another “I Am” statement) of Jesus as the true vine. He reminds the disciples that, apart from Him, they can do nothing on their own. He then reminds them to remain (or abide) in Him and love one another as He had commanded them to do. 

He then moves into a warning of how the world is going to view His followers. While these two ideas are often disconnected, the beginning of John 15 is actually the solution to what Jesus addresses towards the end. The message of the gospel is controversial. Explaining to people that they are broken and in need of a Savior is offensive, particularly in a strongly individualistic culture like we have.

Telling sinners the answer is found in a man who lived, died, and rose again on their behalf is going to get you some funny looks. So of course the world is going to be skeptical! Of course you are going to feel like an outsider. Of course people will (at times) antagonize you for what you believe. While the hatred for us may not may not be as severe or as extreme as it was for the disciples, it still should not catch us off guard when we are treated as “different.”

So what do we do when it feels like the world is against us? In a word: remain. Consistently remind yourself that Jesus is better than what the world has to offer. As foreigners and exiles here on earth (1 Peter 2:11), we shouldn’t ever feel like this world is our home. We should anticipate strife with the world. And we should consistently and faithfully keep our hope grounded in Jesus and Him alone. 


  1. What is Jesus telling us to expect when He talks about the branches being pruned and bearing fruit? What do you know about the pruning process?
  2. Is remaining in Jesus easy or difficult for you? Are you more prone to wander or remain?
  3. Have you experienced hatred from the world? What did that look like? How can you faithfully endure it without compromising your faith or values?

Keep Digging

John 15 is a well known, often-referenced passage in the New Testament. But what does it really mean to abide in Christ? Check out this helpful article from

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3 thoughts on “John 15”

  1. Growing up in agrarian setting, the terminology used in this chapter was familiar to me—cutting, pruning, vine, branches, bearing fruit—all pointed to healthy plants. In farming it was a continual process of intentionally observing the condition of the plants in order to give them the proper care to thrive. The goal was fruitfulness. What a fitting depiction of those who claim to follow Christ. Either we are pruned to promote growth, or unproductive and cut off. For true believers, I noticed a pattern Jesus outlined to encourage the journey of faith:
    Know the genuine love of Jesus,
    keep his commandments,
    remain in his love,
    experience deep joy,
    love as he loves,
    lay down your life for each other,
    become his friend,
    know we are chosen to go and bear lasting fruit,
    testify of him,
    and receive the Holy Spirit, the spirit of truth.
    Jesus has set us up for success on this faith journey. Our response should unashamedly be love and obedience, for nothing else will do.

  2. Abide is a different word we don’t use much outside the church. Digging into that word means to remain in the same place for a long period of time.

    I should have named my Covid dog Kimi, Abide. She remains with me wherever I go in the house. She does not leave my side. She finds security in my presence. She is abiding in me.

    Verses 9-10 shares three abides (ESV): “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.”

    I need to learn from my dog and abide in Christ as my dog abides in me.

    This beautiful song we frequently sing reminds me of my need to abide in Christ.

  3. What does abide mean? Weirsbe states abide means to keep in fellowship with Christ so that His life can work in and through us to produce fruit. It involves the Word of God , confession of sin, and obeying Him because we love Him. When we are abiding in Christ we produce fruit (John 15:2), we experience pruning so that we bear more fruit. We have answered prayers, a deepened love for Christ and other believers. and joy. None of this is automatic. Abiding in Christ is something we have to work on by worship, meditation on God’s Word, prayer, service, listening, and obedience.
    The fruit we produce is not something for us. It is an outward manifestation of what God is doing in our lives, servant heart, to feed others by teaching them about Christ, as we grow in our holiness and obedience, fruit of the Spirit that glorifies God and makes Christ alive and real to others, and (the greatest of these) having love one for another. Because we love Him and keep His commands, we can abide in His love and experience it in a deeper way.
    “Each of us is as close to God as we choose to be” Dr Oswald Sanders.
    It says He choose them and us but we have the freedom of will to draw near and abide or stand off and watch.

    God thank You for being able to abide. Thank You for pruning me to help me glorify You. Thank You for me loving others because You have first loved me. I choose to be at Your feet. I choose to endeavor to be as obedient as possible. God thank You for giving me protection over my mind to serve You, obey You, to Love YOU in Jesus name amen

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