Sunday, February 24, 2013

John 15:1 - 4 The Abode

John 15:1-2 (KJV)  I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.  Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.

There’s not much hidden meaning here.  We know, from other passages, that the Father is the planner, Jesus implements the plan, and the Holy Spirit is the communicator.  So, using the analogy of the vineyard, the Father has prepared the vineyard, Christ is the vine through whom the plan flows, we are the fruit bearing branches of the vine.  If you’ve ever had a garden, you’ll recognize the reality of verse 2. 

Whether it’s a rose bush or a fruit tree, it needs pruning.  The dead, unproductive branches need to be removed so that they can be replaced by healthy branches that will flower or bear fruit.  The healthy branches need cutting back, too, so that the potentially fruit bearing part of the tree doesn’t extend too far from the main, life giving part of the tree.  We can take that as analogous to the church or to the individual believer.

Although it’s usually a self made action that separates a nonbeliever from the church, he or she is still cut away.  Which prevents the healthy parts from being deadened by association.  If one of the saints starts deviating too much from the life given by Christ, the bad parts are removed so the believer can continue to grow in a healthy, fruitful spiritual life.  The things that prevent us from getting spiritual nutrition are cut away.  So, what happens next?

John 15:3 (KJV)  Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.

Think about that one.  Ephesians 5:25b-27 tells us, “…even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.”  The beginning of verse 25 talks about how husbands are to love their wives.  Sacrificial agape love.  That’s not the mushy stuff depicted in romantic comedies, where the other part of the couple pretty much gets away with far too much.  This speaks of a love that thrives despite mistakes, a love that allows justice to prevail, a love that then applies mercy and grace to that justice, a love that agrees with the thoughts of God.  The application of the Word cleanses and makes holy.

John 15:4 (KJV)  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
The word “abide” is the Greek word meno, which creates a very interesting word picture.  One of the words for a home is an abode, a variation of abide.  Or, put in another way, we dwell in a dwelling.  But there’s more than that to meno.  It includes a sense of longevity beyond a temporary dwelling.  This is home dwelling, not an overnight stay in a hostel or motel.  The branch is connected and it’s not being separated.  There’s a sense of rest and peace, as well as protection.  Think Hebrews 13:5b permanence.

That’s a good thought to park at and meditate on till next time.  We’ll start with this same verse because there’s even more!  What’s your favorite thought from John 15:1-4?

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