My Understanding

A newbie Christian's attempts to understand.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

John 15

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In John 15, Jesus refers to Himself as the True Vine and to God as the Gardener. People are represented as branches, those that turn from Jesus cannot produce fruit and are thrown away. Those that belong to Jesus produce fruit and are pruned so they can produce even more fruit. God does the pruning, God helps us to produce more fruit. Now, I'm not certain what the fruit is. Since becoming a Christian though, I have noticed I have a deeper happiness in my life, I think that this is part of the fruit - the benefits of being a Christian. As we continue as Christians God will prune us so that we can experience more of this happiness and joy of belonging to Jesus.

I think fruit also means the things that we produce - the things that we do - in Jesus' name. If we help people, if we love people, if we spread the Word of Christ to other people we are producing fruit. This is hard work. It's hard to be a good Christian. It's hard to produce fruit. But with God everything is possible. He is the Gardener, He tends to us and prunes us so we can produce more and more fruit.

Jesus refers to His followers in this chapter as His friends (John 15:14-15, NLT). This shows the love Jesus has for us. He died for His friends. Jesus believes in us, He loves us and He will help us because He is Our Friend. Jesus also says that His followers didn't choose Him, He chose them. Jesus chooses His followers, He chose you and me, He thinks we're worthy of this, He loves us despite all of our faults and He wants us to follow him. Jesus wants us to be His friends.

Later in this chapter, Jesus talks of the worlds hatred. Jesus reminds us that the world hated Him too (John 15:18, NLT). In the previous chapters Jesus refers to Satan as the prince of this world. By this He means that the world is full of evil, it goes against God. Following Jesus is going against the world, it is not always cool and is often very hard. Christians who are open about their faith will probably be mocked and jeered, I know I expect some people will give me a hard time about it. I will still be getting off easy if the worst that happens to me is that I am seen as uncool or laughed at. Some people die because of their faith. Christ himself was tortured and crucified. But Jesus sends us the Holy Spirit to be with us (John 15:26, NLT). The word Jesus uses here is translated into English as "Counselor" but is written as "Parakletos" in the original Greek. "Parakletos" also means "Comforter", "Encourager" or "Advocate". We can get comfort and encouragement from the Holy Spirit when the world jeers and hates us.


At 22 December, 2005 21:18, Blogger George Doyle said...

Hi John,

I know you wrote this a few months ago, but I just came across it. If your still around, I wanted to thank you for your time and fiathfulness in posting this. I was blessed by it. God Bless you and yours friend. And keep the Faith.


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