From The American Bible Society:
John 15:1-17(Good News Translation)
Come Together in Faith and Proclaim God’s Love and Mercy
John 15:1-17: God’s people are sometimes described as a vineyard (see Isaiah 5:1-7; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 19:10-14; Hosea 10:1). Jesus identifies himself as the real vine and his followers as branches connected to the vine. Jesus tells his followers to remain in him so that they bear fruit that endures. Today’s reading concludes with Jesus repeating his command to love one another.
Today's Scripture: John 15:5
“I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.”
1 I am the real vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He breaks off every branch in me that does not bear fruit, and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit, so that it will be clean and bear more fruit. 3 You have been made clean already by the teaching I have given you. 4 Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine, and you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me. 6 Those who do not remain in me are thrown out like a branch and dry up; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, where they are burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, then you will ask for anything you wish, and you shall have it. 8 My Father's glory is shown by your bearing much fruit; and in this way you become my disciples. 9 I love you just as the Father loves me; remain in my love. 10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love. 11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12 My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. 13 The greatest love you can have for your friends is to give your life for them. 14 And you are my friends if you do what I command you. 15 I do not call you servants any longer, because servants do not know what their master is doing. Instead, I call you friends, because I have told you everything I heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me; I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit, the kind of fruit that endures. And so the Father will give you whatever you ask of him in my name. 17 This, then, is what I command you: love one another.
Today’s reading includes another of the “I Am” sayings of Jesus (verses 1, 5). Is the image of vine and branches a good metaphor for a community of faith? Why or why not? Why does Jesus say that we are to stay connected to him (the vine)? What “fruit” will you bear today?q
Lord Jesus, you are the real vine, and we are the branches. You have called us your friends. Keep me close to you so that I remain in your love as a fruitful disciple. Amen.