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John 15:1-17

The Vine and the Branches


Like so many verses in the Bible, these verses have so much meaning that I try to simplify their meaning

in my mind. As I consider these seventeen verses, I think about the simple act of taking care of plants. If

the vine is healthy, the branches receive water and nutrients from the soil and they flourish and bear

fruit. The vine is a fruitful tree that yields fruit as does Christ in the form of grace, truth, and precious

promises. To me these verses relate to my spiritual life. Christ is the vine bringing nourishment and

water to my spiritual life in the form of the gospel.


Someone must care for and maintain the vine for it to bear fruit. In these verses God is described by

Christ as the husbandman (gardener) who removes branches that are dead or bear no fruit. I must not

just profess to believe in Him, I must grow in faith or be fruitless. Pruning (cleansing) the vine of dead or

unfruitful branches improves the health of the vine and, therefore, its fruitfulness. I interpret this as

simply meaning that my faith must grow or it will eventually die. I must also prune things in my life that

can choke off my ability to be fruitful for Christ.


Remain in me, as I remain in you. Again, I must continue to grow in my faith to be able to bear fruit. I

must perform repeated acts of faith. Dead branches are pruned and burned and if my faith stagnates, I

to will be fruitless. My joy and peace are greatest when I feel that I have done my best to express my

faith in deeds and examples that should bring glory to God.


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. I must continue to study His commands and follow them and I can be confident of His

love and promises. I must work to love others so that I will continue in his love.

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