A Closer Look

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In his final ‘I am statement,’ Jesus declares in John 15:1 that he is the “true vine and [his] father is the gardener.” To the Jewish disciples hearing this, it would have taken on a deeper meaning The Pharisees and Jews were steeped in the words of the Law - the Old Testament - that commonly used the metaphor of a vine. 


In these cases, the vine was almost always linked to Israel’s failure to obey God. Since it wouldn’t be useful for vegetation growth, Israel would be better off burned. Their entire history the vine signalled God’s wrath towards them. Therefore, to hear from Jesus that he is the true vine would likely prompt them to do a double-take. 


All of their failures did not cut them off from God forever. Rather, He provided another way, an alternate route to follow Him. This would have been yet another clue for the mission of Jesus to connect the people to God. In later going to the cross, his death and resurrection would seal his vine as a place for branches to grow from. 


For us today, this is good news that no matter how you’ve fumbled in the past Jesus offers you a new vine to blossom out from.