John 15:1-17 — Chosen to be fruitful

This is one of the most famous passages in the Gospels in which Jesus shows us a beautiful illustration of our relationship with God.

Here he calls himself the vine.  In the Old Testament, Israel was referred to as a vine.  They were to bear fruit for God so that the nations would see them, and be drawn to God.  But through their disobedience they bore only bad fruit, and as a result, God brought judgment upon them.  (Isaiah 5:1-7, Jeremiah 2:21)

So now Jesus doesn’t just call himself the vine, but the “true” vine.  A vine whose fruit would not only draw people to God, but save them.

And Jesus tells us we are the branches to the vine.  He tells us in verse 16,

I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit — fruit that will last.  (16)

What does it mean to bear fruit?  I think the first thing it means is the fruit of a changed life.  Paul, after talking about the kind of sinful life life we once lived, tells us,

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  (Galatians 5:22-23)

In other words, if we are Christians, it should be evidenced in our lives.  Our lives should be different from what they once were.

And as our lives change, we’ll see fruit in that we’ll start to make an impact on the people around us.  People will see God himself in us, be drawn to him, and be saved.

That’s what God originally intended for Israel, and that’s what God intends for us now.  Peter puts it this way,

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  (I Peter 2:9)

You were chosen to be fruitful.  Are you?

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About bkshiroma

I'm from Hawaii, but have been in Japan as a missionary/English teacher since 1995. I'm currently going to a church called Crossroad Nishinomiya, an international church in Nishinomiya, a city right between Kobe and Osaka. Check out their website: crossroad-web.com 私がハワイから来ましたけど1995年に宣教師と英会話の教師として日本に引っ越しました。 今西宮にあるクロスロード西宮という国際の教会に行っています。どうぞ、そのホムページを見てください: crossroad-web.com
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