Archive for July 20th, 2009

John 15


At the end of all that Jesus says in chapter 15, He concludes with “all this I have told you that you will not go astray”.  If you could know something that would keep you from ‘going astray’, wouldn’t you want to know it?  


In the first 10 verses of John 15, 10 times Jesus uses the word ‘remain’ (‘abide’ in some translations).  I usually perk up when He says something twice, but 10 times; it must be pretty important.


Verse 4 makes the general point that a branch cannot bear fruit unless it remains on the vine.  That makes sense.  It has to remain connected to its source for nutrients or it will wither and die.  If the branch remains connected, it will naturally bear fruit.  Separated, it can’t bear fruit no matter how hard it tries.    


 John 15:4 says “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me”. 


John 15:5 says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”.


It is frustrating to try to bear fruit.  It is easy to read these verses and focus on the bearing fruit part to prove to ourselves and others that we are remaining.  It is just simply backwards.  We must first learn to remain, the fruit will then come.


It is interesting to realize this is probably hours before Peter’s denial.  So, though he heard ‘all this’, still, it did not keep him from ‘going astray’.  It is one thing to hear it, but when Peter did it, it transformed his life.  When Peter and others were told to go to Jerusalem and wait, while they waited they were remaining.  His life was never the same afterwards.


There is no substitute for remaining; taking the time to learn from Him.  It is where His life flows into ours.  It is the thing that will keep us from ‘going astray’.


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