Several years ago, I spent time with several vintners to better understand vine and wine imagery throughout the Bible.

This became the foundation for a portion of the Scouting the Divine book and Bible study.

The discoveries I made become helpful as we dive into John 15:1-11…

where Jesus takes on this imagery for Himself.

But a little background, first.

As we enter John 15-16 during this week’s readings, we eavesdrop on a most mysterious conversation,

Jesus’ choice final syllables before his arrest.

This is where he blows on the embers of the disciples’ faith.

Moments later the lights go out for all of the disciples.

The world becomes as dark as night. But Jesus’ words on this fateful eve aren’t just for them, they’re for us.

Today. Here. Now.

Jesus I am’s his followers again. The way. The truth. The life. The light. The resurrection. The shepherd. Now, the vine.

In Scouting the Divine, I spent time visiting various vintners—grape growers—some who raised tens of thousands of acres, others who managed boutique wineries with tiny plots. Though their methods differed, the principle remained:

When you’re joined to the Vine, the relationship is intimate and organic, the harvest abundant.

When you’re separated from the vine, you’re deadwood.

A good vintner knows…

Expect lots of hands on time.

Expect intimate involvement.

Expect wild tendrils.

Expect paring down.

Expect abundance.

If. You. Abide. In. Me.

The Father invites us to make home our home in Him. Take up residence. Put up the mailbox. Lay down the carpet. Paint the walls. Hang the artwork. Turn on the teakettle. Nestle in the comfy chair. Invite the neighbors over. Reside in Him.

At the heart of this invitation is God’s heart.

Just as the Father loves Jesus, so Jesus loves us.

We are created to abide and flourish in God’s love. To blossom. To produce succulent, sweet fruit. To flavor the world.

All is founded and grounded in love.

Discovering God’s love. Recognizing ourselves as the Beloved. Become love to others. This kind of love flows to and through. As we abide in Him.

And the rich yield of this kind of life: Joy. Joy. Joy.

My JOY may be in you, and that your JOY may be made full.

In the most beautiful way, I needed to be reminded of God’s endless fount of love.

What did you least want to read but most need to hear in today’s reading?

(If you have any questions post them below. We’ll be collecting and gathering responses for insight from New Testament scholar Craig Blomberg in the upcoming weeks).

Day 27: John 15:1-11 Discussion Questions:

  • What is the most fruitful area of your life right now?
  • In what area of your life are you being pruned right now?
  • How are you awakening to the Beloved through this study?
  • Using the Color Method, what stood out to you most from today’s reading?
  • What do you find most challenging about today’s reading? What do you find most comforting about today’s reading?

 

Recommend Resources:

Scouting the Divine: 6-Session DVD Bible Study

John for Everyone by N.T. Wright

John: the NIV Application Commentary by Gary Burge

Day 1 | John 1:1-18 | Ash Wednesday: Your Invitation to Discover the Beloved

Day 2 | John 1:19-34 | This One Question Will Leave You Undone

Day 3 | John 1: 35-51 | What to Tell Your Children Before It’s Too Late

Day 4 | John 2:1-12 | The Shocking Miracle of Water Becoming Wine

Day 7 | John 3:22-36 | There’s a Hidden Slip N’ Slide in the Bible — I Found It!

Day 9 | John 5:1-17 | How to Overcome Jealousy

Day 12 | John 6:15-35 | What to Do When You Doubt God

Day 14 | John 7:1-39 | What’s the Difference Between Dead and Living Water?

Day 16 | John 8:1-1 | You Stumped Me… Again

Day 17 | John 8:12-59 | 7 Surprises in the Gospel of John

Day 18 | John 9 | What does spiritual blindness really cost you?

Day 22 | John 12:1-11 | What’s Your Signature Spiritual Scent?

Day 23 | John 12:12-50 | Here is a Method That is Helping Me Relinquish Control

Day 25 | John 15:1-11 | What Does a Vinter See in John 15?

Day 29 | John 16:1-15 | Little Known Ways to Be of Good Cheer

Day 31 | John 17 | The Truth About Soul Talk

Day 33 | John 18:12-40 | Was it Judas or Satan Working through Judas?

Day 35 | John 19:16-30 | What’s a Woman’s Role?

Day 39 | John 21:1-14 | Why is the Weight of the Wait So Heavy on Good Friday?

Day 40 | John 21:15-25 | The Most Powerful Lesson I Learned During Lent