You are the branches! (Jn 15:5-15:5)

“I am the vine!

You are the branches!

Those who abide

In me,

And I in them

Bear much fruit.

Apart from me

You can do nothing.”

ἐγώ εἰμι ἡ ἄμπελος, ὑμεῖς τὰ κλήματα. ὁ μένων ἐν ἐμοὶ κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ, οὗτος φέρει καρπὸν πολύν, ὅτι χωρὶς ἐμοῦ οὐ δύνασθε ποιεῖν οὐδέν.

John uniquely indicated that Jesus said very clearly that he was (ἐγώ εἰμι) the vine (ἡ ἄμπελος), using the divine first person singular “I am (ἐγώ εἰμι)” to assert his power and dignity.  They were the branches (ὑμεῖς τὰ κλήματα).  There was nothing ambiguous here.  Repeating the theme of the last verse, Jesus said that those who abided or remained in him (ὁ μένων ἐν ἐμοὶ), and him in them (κἀγὼ ἐν αὐτῷ), would bear much fruit (οὗτος φέρει καρπὸν πολύν).  However, apart from Jesus (ὅτι χωρὶς ἐμοῦ), they could do nothing (οὐ δύνασθε ποιεῖν οὐδέν).  Jesus and his disciples were one.  He was the vine and they were the branches.  There could be no fruit without the branch abiding in the vine, like a life-giving sap.  These branches were part of the vine.  Detached from this vine, these branches were useless, since they could not bear the fruits of righteousness.  The unity of Jesus with his followers was the means of success for these fruit bearing branches that were attached to the main vine.  What good is a branch not attached to the vine trunk?

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