Bible Leads: John 15:1-8

Bible Leads is a rendering of my sermon preparation: researching facts & cross-references, drawing up connections through personal experiences, art and music and discerning the essence of the text.


Text

John 15:1-8

‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.

  1. See Isaiah 5:1-10: Cross-reference courtesy of The Jewish New Testament, edited by Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Z. Brettler.
  2. “Abide” in John’s gospel: John 6:51-61 & John 14:12-22.
  3. A grainy but informative video on pruning a fruit tree.
  4. Modern Israeli farmers are harvesting wastewater to grow their fruit orchards.

Reflection Questions

  1. What have been your most fruitful losses?
  2. In what ways does hope appear when you’re facing a loss?
  3. What fruit are you bearing today?
  4. What obstacles in your life need pruned?

Image

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Image: Backlit grapes, by Sheila Sund


Soundtrack

  1. I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For by U2.
  2. Lacrimosa by Mozart.
  3. Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell.
  4. The First Time I Ran Away by M. Ward.
  5. Can’t Help but Wonder Where I’m Bound by Nanci Griffith.

Full Playlist


Haiku

Dull pain replaces / That thing you thought unneeded / But I disagree.

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