By now, Jesus is making clear to His disciples that He won’t be with them much longer. They’ve had their last supper together and Judas has gone off to sell Him out. In the few precious moments He has left with them, He uses a title for Himself which is easy for anyone to conceptualize: “I AM the true vine and my Father is the Gardener”. He then identifies us as the branches. Everyone In wine country is familiar with the role each must play for a good harvest.
Simply put, the gardener must remove all non-productive branches from the vine because they do nothing but rob from the harvest. Their fate is the fire. Even so, the healthy fruit-bearing branches are pruned. This way they will produce more fruit than they could if parts of them were not cut away. And, of course, any branch that falls away from the vine will quickly wither along with any fruit it may have when it falls.
In this analogy, Jesus repeats a most remarkable statement. He tells us whatever we ask will be given to us (vv7 & 16). To the casual observer, this sounds like a guarantee to our every temporal desire. But it comes with a significant “if”. The promise is contingent on us bearing fruit for Jesus, and there is no way a branch can do this apart from the vine.
The chapter comes to a close with Jesus telling us the world will hate us for bearing fruit for Him. After all, it would take a lot of pride to think we would be treated better than Jesus Christ. He doesn’t say this to frighten us. On the contrary, He tells us this ahead of time so that we can and will expect it and, when we are hated by the world, we’re reassured that all His words are true.
Jesus is “The True Vine”. As a true branch, is everything you ask of the Vine motivated by a true desire to produce more fruit?
But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. -John 15:7-8 (NLT)