Vs. 17, “This is my command: Love each other.” As Jesus and the disciples are leaving the Upper Room and heading over to the Garden of Gethsemane, He continues to teach them as they walk. As they are walking, they probably walked past the temple and were reminded of the doors engraved with vines. It is here that Jesus reminds the disciples of the picture of the vine as a symbol of our relationship with the Father (vs. 1-11). Question: What happens when we remain in Jesus? We grow into loving each other more (vs. 12-17). But, this wasn’t going to be an easy road. Just as Jesus had the mixture of Pharisee’s, scribes & Sadducees conspiring together through the Sanhedrin to arrest Jesus and kill him, we too have a world that is not going to be tolerant of this faith (vs. 18-27).
Regarding application…Remain in Jesus. Vs. 5, “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.” Question: What exactly is this fruit? The fruit that we bear is from the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23, fruits of the Spirit) and also the fruit we bear when we share Christ (John 4, woman at the well). Question What does it mean to remain? Another word used by translators is “abide”, which gives us a picture of being in constant fellowship with Jesus. When we are connected to Jesus, we will naturally produce fruit. In my own life, there have been many times when I tried to do this fruit bearing on my own strength. But the more I learn about the Lord, the more I realize that in our weakness we are made strong. Let Jesus take this heart of ours and begin to change it from the inside out. Don’t get discouraged in this walk when it doesn’t seem to be working. Just keep your heart plugged into the vine!