Bear fruit! (Jn 15:2-15:2)

“God,

The Father,

Removes

Every branch in me

That bears

No fruit.

Every branch

That bears fruit,

He prunes

To make it

Bear more fruit.”

πᾶν κλῆμα ἐν ἐμοὶ μὴ φέρον καρπὸν, αἴρει αὐτό, καὶ πᾶν τὸ καρπὸν φέρον, καθαίρει αὐτὸ ἵνα καρπὸν πλείονα φέρῃ.

John uniquely indicated that Jesus continued with this metaphor about the vine.  He said that that God, the Father, the vinedresser, would remove (αἴρει αὐτό) every branch (πᾶν κλῆμα) in him (ἐν ἐμοὶ) that bore no fruit (μὴ φέρον καρπὸν).  However, every branch (καὶ πᾶν) that bore fruit (τὸ καρπὸν φέρον,), he would prune it (καθαίρει αὐτὸ) to make it bear more fruit (ἵνα καρπὸν πλείονα φέρῃ).  John was the only Greek biblical writer to use this term καθαίρει, that means to cleanse, purify, or prune.  There was an insistence that this vine of Jesus bear fruit.  If there was no fruit on a branch, it would be removed.  Those branches with fruit would be further pruned to bear even more fruit.  There was no guarantee for any of these branches on the vine.  Even the good branches would suffer some discomfort with various pruning trials and tribulations that would make them bear better fruit.  The vineyard was a favorite theme of many of Jesus’s sayings.  In Matthew, chapter 20:1-8, Jesus told the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, while in chapter 21:28-31, Jesus told the story or parable of the two sons working and not-working in the vineyard.  Finally, in chapter 21:33-41, Jesus told the story or parable of the absentee vineyard landowner and the wicked tenants.  In each parable, Jesus used a vineyard as the background for the story.  Have you ever been to a vineyard?

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