I am the true vine! (Jn 15:1-15:1)

“I am the true vine!

My Father

Is the vinedresser.”

Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος ἡ ἀληθινή, καὶ ὁ Πατήρ μου ὁ γεωργός ἐστιν.

John uniquely indicated that Jesus said that he was the true vine (Ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος ἡ ἀληθινή), using the divine term “I am (Ἐγώ εἰμι)” to show his power and authority.  His Father (καὶ ὁ Πατήρ μου) was the vinedresser (ὁ γεωργός ἐστιν).  Pure and simple, Jesus was the vine that included the people of God, the followers of Jesus.  The followers of Jesus must be associated with the true vine in order to grow and live.  The good vineyard was a common theme in the Hebrew scriptures, especially in the prophet Isaiah, chapter 5:1-7.  Isaiah’s beloved friend had a vineyard on a fertile hill.  This friend took great care to get this vineyard ready.  He was expecting good grapes, but he only got wild grapes.  Clearly, he did not get what he expected.  Isaiah wanted to know could he have done more?  Who was at fault?  Was it the gardener or the vines themselves?  Why did this happen?  What should he do with this wild grape vineyard?  He decided to let this vineyard go to waste.  This vineyard was the house of Israel.  Yahweh was expecting justice and righteousness from his pleasant planting in the vineyard.  However, all he saw and heard was bloodshed and crying.  In Isaiah, chapter 27:2-5, Isaiah used the symbol of Yahweh’s vineyard to represent what was going to happen to Israel, much like earlier in chapter 5.  Isaiah said that Yahweh wanted to sing about this pleasant vineyard.  Yahweh was careful with this vineyard, since he watered it every day.  He guarded it night and day, so that no one could harm it.  He was not angry.  However, when the thorns and briers came, he was going to burn this vineyard.  He wanted the vineyard to cling to him and make peace with him.  Thus, we see the obvious connection of Yahweh to the people of Israel.  Jeremiah, chapter 2:21, said that Yahweh had planted them as a vineyard from the purest stock.  However, they had become degenerate and a wild vine.  No amount of lye or soap could cleanse them from this stain of their guilt.  Psalm 80:8-13 had the great parable about the vine and Israel that was so familiar to all.  The vine was taken from Egypt.  Then the ground was prepared for it and planted.  Thus, nations were cleared out to let the vine grow as it took deep root.  This vine spread all over the land as it covered the mountains and the trees.  Its branches went from the Mediterranean Sea to the Euphrates River.  However, then its walls were broken down.  Now anyone can come along and pluck its fruit.  All the wild animals and any animals could come to feed on it.  Israel was being ravaged by all sets of animals and people.  The vineyard was not sustained.  Here in John, Jesus is the vineyard with the God the Father as the caretaker.  Do you like the comparison with a vineyard?

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