In John’s gospel he records the seven great “I AM” statements of Jesus, each one used to give insight into His person, His deity, and how He relates to God in the OT. “Seven times John records Jesus saying, ‘I am…,’ attaching it to a metaphor. These seven statements give special insight into who Christ claimed to be…He was identifying Himself with Jehovah of the Old Testament”.
The “I AM” statement that I will be focusing on is “I AM the true vine”. Jesus says this in John 15:1 “I AM the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser” (NASB). It is interesting to see the context and time when Jesus says this, and to see the relationship between him and his Father. I have always had a found liking to this particular passage as I grew up on an apple orchard, and was very acutely aware of the process of pruning branches at a young age. The concept of pruning away or cleaning the branches in order to bear much fruit is something that I related to very easily throughout my life.
Reading the surrounding verses, Jesus is talking and walking with his disciples when he spoke this statement. Many theologians agree that this discourse took place right after the Passover meal: “The fruit of which he had been just speaking of at supper with his disciples; and then informs them, that he himself is the vine from whence that fruit must be expected, which should be partook of by them in his Father's kingdom…” There are many different reasons given as to why Jesus uses this analogy at this particular time but is simply most likely because vines were something very common in the city. “The grapevine was a common sight in Israel. In fact, vineyards were so plenteous that the vine became the national symbol of Israel”.
This statement by Jesus is also coming at a time when His arrest and death are nearing. This statement is sandwiched right in between Jesus’ promise of the Holy Spirit to his disciples, and His discourse on how and...
Bibliography: “John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, 2010”, Biblestudytools.com, available from http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/gills-exposition-of-the-bible/john-15- 1.html; Internet; accessed 07 May 2012.
“Matthew Henry Commentary on the Whole Bible”, Biblestudytools.com, available from http://www.biblestudytools.com/commentaries/matthew-henry-complete/john/15.html; internet; accessed 07 May 2012.
Morris, Leon. Jesus is the Christ: Studies in the Theology of John. Michigan, Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing , 1989.
Towns, Elmer. The gospel of John: Believe and Live. Tennessee: AMG Publishers, 2002.
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