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  • Joe Steenholdt

John 15:1-11 - The Best Produce

Want a life filled with good fruit? Then abide in Christ!


Read / Listen

Read John 15:1-11

Listen to passage & devotional:

 

Heidelberg Catechism Q&A 91

Q. What do we do that is good?


A. Only that which

arises out of true faith,

conforms to God’s law,

and is done for his glory;

and not that which is based

on what we think is right

or on established human tradition.

 

Summary

Jesus’s disciples would have been familiar with the hillside vineyards all around Judea. They would have also been familiar with the Old Testament metaphor of Israel as God’s vineyard (Psalm 80:8–16; Isaiah 5:1–7; Jer. 2:21). So Jesus claiming that He was the true vine was another way that He was saying He was the faithful Israel. Israel had been judged for not bearing the fruit and instead rebelled against God in idolatry, leading to exile from the promised land. Now Jesus is showing Himself as the genuine source of abundant life and everything good and pleasing to God.


This viticultural reference is something we can still understand today. A healthy vine produces excellent and healthy fruit. The vinedresser prunes where it isn’t fruitful so that it can make the choicest clusters of grapes. If you visit a vineyard today, they will still describe the years of work and care that goes into the success of growing the desired fruit. Here Jesus describes the success of good works as just like the fruit of the vine; the requirement is to be united to Him.


A Christian’s union with Christ includes producing what Christ provides: the Father’s love and obeying His commandments. The passage provides the three characteristics of good works which Q&A 91 provides: true faith that abides in Christ, glorifying God by bearing much fruit, and keeping His commandments.



Dig Deeper


There are various methods for picking out the best fruit in the produce aisle at the grocery store. For some, fruit is merely looking at the outside appearance, but melons are particularly tricky since they have a thick rind and skin. Some of you know how to look for the round shape, a proper creamy spot on the skin, and the right pitch to listen for when you knock on the outside of a good and juicy watermelon.


Like watermelon at the store, Jesus describes how the good fruit of His kingdom has evidence of goodness on both the outside and inside. God’s Word nourishes you, which then motivates you by God’s love and delight to follow God’s commands. The beautiful fruit that you bear brings glory to the vintner. And God is pleased to mark it as His own, as if you’d see a cluster of grapes labeled “From the Kingdom of God.”


Faith receives all it needs from Christ in salvation, and the Spirit produces all the blessings of salvation in the life of the Christian. Being connected to the true vine will inevitably lead to producing good works. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Heb. 11:6).


  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Heavenly Father who is the source of every good and perfect gift;

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray that you will abide in God’s love, words, and commands;

  • ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:

 

Read the New Testament in a year, a chapter a day - 1 Corinthians 13

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