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John 15

December 8, 2016
Hermeneutics Paper: John 15: 1-11
The gospel is the genre of John chapter 15, where Jesus states that the cleansing has been
achieved. Jesus also states to the Disciples that they are the branches and He is the true vine. He
states intimacy by saying that they cannot do much of anything without him. This statement
relates directly to his earlier claims that he is the true vine, for the branches can do nothing apart
from the vine. This is an example of how God’s word, in this case, Jesus Christ’s influence in the
lives of the Disciples creates intimacy. Israel in this case was attached to the vine, but they had
not honored God as they should’ve. Therefore, according to Jesus, as a repercussion they
suffered miserably. When performing an interpretation of this passage you must pay attention to
the idea that Jesus, the true vine, is what nourishes the branches in order for them to bear fruit.
Jesus’s statement regarding the vine is a main focus of this passage due to His intention for the
disciples to understand that He is the vine. He is the true vine, the one and only vine, the one
who provides nourishment to us, who are the fruit. This passage proves that Jesus is the Messiah,
the spiritual leader which provides nutrition to its branches, and that he is all that the branches
need in order to survive.1 When we don't have this spiritual nutrition, the passage says that we
wither away and get thrown into the fire. The fire that consumes the withered branches in this
case is sinfulness, and due to our sin we will burn in the eternal depths of hell. As followers of
Christ it is important to be healthy branches, get the nutrition we need from the word of God in
Jesus so that we as Christians can blossom and bear fruit. As a sub-genre within this passage, the
idea of following and obeying Jesus’s commands within the scripture can be attributed to this
passage. Having obedience and strength in faith to understand that these are not just good things
1 Russell, Walt. Playing with Fire: How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul. Colorado Springs, CO:
NavPress, 2000.
that Jesus was telling the disciples, but commands that would provide guidelines for the rest of
their lives. The lives that the disciples carried on would be vital to the spread of the gospel
around the world. They played an important part in relaying the message of God to us and his
metaphor of a vine and the fruit that it nourishes. This explains the similarities of our lives and
our mission as Christians, to create more disciples and glorify his kingdom.
The author of this passage is John the Apostle, son of Zebedee and Salome. John wrote 4
books in the new testament. John 1, 2, 3, the Gospel of John and is said to have some to do with
the book of Revelation. He was one of the twelve original disciples. It is also believed that John
and his brother James were cousins of Jesus. Salome was believed to be Jesus’s mother and
Mary’s sister. John’s purpose for writing this book was to highlight the importance of the
commands of Jesus and how his last days in particular had much to do with shaping the way we
live. This passage in particular takes place in the final night of Jesus’s life. He knew his death
was soon approaching and his tone, choice of words, and attitude reflect on the knowledge of his
coming death. He shared what mattered most with the disciples in this time. This proclamation of
the true vine is an important and striking aspect of the walk of life that Christians follow. Its
usage of simple rhetoric was ideal for the message that he wished to convey to his audience. The
usage of the idea of a vine, its fruit, and the process of elimination that the farmer conducts to
decide which fruit are going to be able to be harvested to convey the importance of us abiding in
him is an easily understandable and intimidating idea that we can use and relate to with ease.
Seeing this situation from the perspective of the fruit makes us as followers of Christ look at the
big picture of our lives and living spiritually. As a Christian we are to receive nourishment from
the true vine. Fruit receives its nourishment from no outside sources other than that of which it is
connected to. As we use this nourishment, we are to become full and ripe for the Lord who is the
farmer in this situation, and we will be used for the strengthening and fortification of his
The book of John, while written for the Church of the past has a contemporary usage and
is still pertinent to today’s issues and speaks truths such as the ones found in this passage
regarding the vine. The historical background behind this passage is that is necessary for
understanding the true meaning of this gospel. These were the last days of Jesus’s life and he
explains meanings behind his miracles in this time. He offers an explanation and the significance
of these miracles and divine events, not as just a way to clear confusion of the believers but to
also persuade the non-believers as well.2 He meant to instill belief into the hearts of those who

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