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Every branch in me that bears no fruit, He cuts away; and every branch that does bear fruit He prunes to make it bear even more. You are pruned already by means of the word that I have spoken to you. Make your home in me, as I make mine in you as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing.

Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away – he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire and they are burnt. If you remain in me, and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it. It is to the glory of my father that you should bear much fruit and then you will be my disciples. As the father has loved me, so I have loved you loved you; remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love; just as I have kept my father’s commandments and remain in His love.

I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you, and your joy complete. ” This passage contains only the words of Christ and is part of a longer passage concerned with relationships which extends from the beginning of chapter 14 to the end of chapter 16, part of the Gospel of John, which consists of the story of Jesus’ earthly ministry. Like the gospel as a whole it begins with a definition of who Jesus is. John 1 v 1 “The word was God. ” In this case “I am the true vine”. After this passage he prays to his father in heaven before reaching the garden of Gethsemane and his resulting arrest.

The first part, with which we are most concerned, is about the relationship of Christ to the disciples and this is followed by passages about their relationships with each other and then with the world about them. These passages are called by the Zoneravan N. I. V. Commentaries ‘The Farewell discourses. ‘ They are set by John during the last few days of Jesus’ life before the crucifixion, and are unique to his gospel. The longer passage is one in which Jesus seeks both to instruct the disciples, to let them know about what is about to happen, and to offer them comfort.

The setting of this part of the discourse is immediately upon leaving the upper room at the Passover meal if we take 14 v 31 as being the point of departure, and so he is addressing probably only the twelve, or at least a smaller rather than a larger group. John, one of the twelve disciples, and indeed part of the inner circle, would have been an eye witness to the events of that night. It may be that they were passing by a vine at the time.

Dates for this gospel are usually given as the last decade of the first century i. e. some 60 or 70 years after the events, but whenever it was written it seems that it was the last. According to Clement of Alexandria, who lived in the second century, John wrote his gospel the last of the apostles. Iraneus, who lived until the second decade of the second century states that ’Last of all, John, too, the disciple of the Lord who leant against his breast, himself brought out a gospel while living in Ephesus. ”. He goes on to say that John lived until the reign of the emperor Trajan.

That is he was still alive until at least C. E. 98. Trajan reigned until 117 C. E. Tasker says that those who place this gospel later are those who cannot accept that John, son of Zebedee, was the author. John Marsh, when discussing dating, mentions letters from Ignatius, written before his martyrdom in C. E. 15, which contain many ‘Johnnine’ ideas, although there are no direct quotations. The passage is not a parable, because there is no story. It is rather an extended metaphor or allegory in which each part has its own significance.

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