Posted by: dhkrause | January 13, 2015

Fruitfulness

In John 15, Jesus (Yeshua) invites the disciples to enter into a deeper abiding relationship with him, and with the Father through him. He begins this teaching with the metaphor of the vine.

John 15 – New King James Version (NKJV)
The True Vine
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Jesus presents himself as the vine, and his followers as the branches, deriving life and fruit-producing strength from Him. By his word they are pruned and made clean. He then teaches how to be fruitful for God.

Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

Remaining connected to Jesus is essential for bearing fruit. Paul expresses this truth in Galatians 2:20, “… it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.” And in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Jesus describes how to bear fruit and its importance.

If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Remaining in Jesus and obedient to his commands, we can ask and see our prayers bear fruit for God’s glory – fruit of souls, and fruit of the Spirit such as “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” (Galatians 5:22). We are changed to be more like Jesus, and his light shining through us draws people to him. Next Jesus teaches about growing in this relationship of love and joy.

Love and Joy Perfected
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. 10 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.

This is a love in which obedience is a spontaneous joy and not a painful duty. God responds by giving a constant awareness of His loving approval. Jesus next promises the gift of his joy.

11 “These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

Jesus promises his disciples an eternal relationship of mutual love with the Father and himself, with fullness of joy. Jesus now describes the deepest kind of friendship.

12 This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. 14 You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.

Jesus commands his followers to love one another as he has loved them, a high standard which he will soon demonstrate by laying down his life for them. We prove our friendship with him by obeying His commands. Jesus now describes how this love relationship grows by his sharing what he has heard from God.

15 No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Jesus is inviting his disciples to progress in their relationship with him, from the obedience of servants to the obedience of friends. As friends, they will increasingly know and understand the deep things of God. Jesus then reminds them that it was he who chose them, and appointed them to bear lasting fruit.

16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 These things I command you, that you love one another.

When Jesus called his disciples to follow him, he was choosing them to be part of the true vine, bearing fruit for God. By remaining in loving obedience to his word, abiding in his presence, they can ask the Father in his name, and receive what He delights to give.

These teachings in John 15 of course apply to all true followers of Jesus. John declares that his purpose in writing this book was so that others might believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and have life in His name.

John 20
30 And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name.

The personal relationship with God depicted by Jesus in John 15 was foreshadowed in various prophetic scriptures such as Psalm 16, where David incidentally depicts the resurrection of the Messiah in verse 10:

Psalm 16
I will bless the Lord who has given me counsel;
My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
I have set the Lord always before me;
Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices;
My flesh also will rest in hope.
10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol,
Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
11 You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Jesus (Yeshua), being risen from the dead, did not see corruption. In his presence is fullness of joy; at his right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 42 likewise speaks of the depth of relationship with God is seeking:

Deep calls unto deep at the noise of Your waterfalls;
All Your waves and billows have gone over me.
The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,
And in the night His song shall be with me—
A prayer to the God of my life.

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/, 1/4/2015


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