OOPS!!!!! What I posted earlier today (see below) was 75% correct. The Gospel reading of John 15:9-17 is wrong. The correct reading is John 15:1-8. The first part of what I wrote still holds true:
This passage happens as Jesus is with his disciples for his final dinner. The Gospel of John describes Jesus washing his disciples feet, telling them of the betrayal, and then teaching them about what would happen. This teaching moment starts at 13:31 and goes to 16:33 and then concludes with Jesus’ prayer in 17:1-26. Chapter 14 gives us another “I AM” statement: “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (14:6). The beginning of chapter 15 gives us another: “I am the true vine and my Father is the vineyard keeper” (15:1).
Our passage, John 15:1-8, is about the true vine, the vineyard keeper, and us, the branches. The only way the vine produces good fruit is if the vineyard keeper works to keep the vineyard free of weeds and vermin that destroy. The vines must be trimmed of its deadwood and the soil must be tended and fertilized. The only way the branches can bear good fruit is to remain connected to the vine from where the nutrients flow to the branches. We who are followers and friends of Jesus need to remain connected to the true vine, Jesus. What is the best way or ways to stay connected to the true vine? Who is glorified by the good fruit the branches produce?
Have a great week!