Jesus said in John 15:5, “I am the vine,” which was the final great "I am" statement made by Jesus.
Pastor Troy Murphy unpacked John 15 and pointed out that the focus is on relationships, starting with our relationship with Jesus. Here are key points from Troy’s message:
*The mataphor of a vine is significant because in the Old Testament the vine represented the nation of Israel. To be in right standing with God you wanted to be part of the chosen nation and people. But Jesus has changed the paradigm: To have right standing with God now requires a relationship with Jesus. It’s a shift from a nation to the person of Jesus.
*Chapter 15 is about relationships — with Christ, with one another and with the world. Jesus affirms to his disciples that he is in relationship with them, and the same can be said of us.
*Jesus said he is the true vine, as opposed to many other voices and false teachers who claim to know the way to God. The way to God is only through Jesus.
*In Chapter 15 Jesus uses the phrase “in me” numerous times. To be "in Jesus" means there is a relationship that extends beyond doing things for him or putting on the appearance of knowing him.
*If you want to bear fruit you need to have a relationship with Jesus, which was a radical concept in that day and age.
*The Father is the gardener who cuts out branches that aren’t connected. What Jesus is saying is that some people appear connected to God but don’t have a relationship with Jesus.
*God prunes every branch that does bear fruit (John 15:2). In other words, God is willing to cut off fruit-bearing in your life. God prunes fruitful branches in order that they might produce even more fruit. That could help explain the times in your life when you had something taken from you that you thought was good. God is in control and is growing us and working in us so that we might produce even more fruit.
*Pruning is the most important part of the fruit-bearing process. A new plant takes time to mature before it produces fruit. The most common gardening mistake is not pruning enough.
*No branch can bear fruit without Christ. There is nothing we can do to produce fruit. We must remain in Christ and allow him to work through us. When we work hard at trying to produce fruit it is futile.
*You cannot remain in Christ without Christ in you. You cannot perform your way to God.
*A real relationship goes far beyond doing things for one another or performing. It goes much deeper. God longs to have a mutual connection with you. It involves praying and trusting and believing.
*The ultimate goal of a relationship with Christ is not about us but about giving glory to God.
*Love is the most important fruit that will be evident in a person in relationship with Jesus.