Jesus Christ is the True Vine

1 “I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

In John 15:1, we have our Lord’s last of His seven “I am” sayings signifying His claim of deity. The word “true” in v1 translates the adjective ἀληθινὴ, which is nominative, singular of ἀληθινός or alēthinos, “unfeigned, trustworthy, true.” The nominative case form, ἀληθινὴ of ἀληθινός means that the metaphor our Lord is making of Him being the “true vine” is subject to the main verb in the sentence with is εἰμι, which, of course, means, in this context, “am.”….

Therefore, our Lord is saying that the fact that He is, in fact, deity means that He is the “true vine.” What this means, of course, is that there are “other vines,” but He is the only one who is “true” and God the Father is the γεωργός or vinedresser.  The noun γεωργός or geōrgos, “can refer to the owner of a farm or to those who work the farm.” Here our Lord is using this term metamorphically to refer to God the Father as the owner of a vineyard, the “vinedresser.”

1 “I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser.  2 Every branch in Me not bearing fruit He takes it, and every branch bearing fruit He prunes that it may bear much fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the Word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch is not able to bear fruit from itself unless it remain on the vine, so neither you unless you remain in Me. 5  I am the vine, you are the branches. The one abiding in Me and I in Him bears much fruit because apart from Me you are not able to do anything. 6 Unless one remains in Me he is cast out as a branch and dries up; and they gather them then throw them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me and my Word abide in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 By this is my Father glorified that you bear much fruit and prove to be my disciples. 9 As the Father loved Me so I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in His love. 11 These things I have spoken to you that My joy may be in you and your joy may be made full.” John 15:1-11 (translated from the NA28 Greek text)

What does the owner of the vineyard do to those branches who are “on” the vine? This is, of course, metaphorical. The vine is Christ and the branches are professing Christians. The vinedresser is God the Father. He owns the vineyard. Some branches produce fruit and some do not. Those who do not are taken away. In v2, the words, “takes it” refers to branches the vinedresser removes that do not bear fruit and translates the verb αἴρει, which is the Present Tense, Indicative Mood, Active Voice form of αἴρω or airō, “to take up, lift, raise, bear, carry, take away, remove, destroy, kill.” The verb structure is talking about action that is taking place right now. On the other hand, there are genuine believers who are represented here as branches on the true vine and they not only bear fruit, but continue to abide in Christ and His Word. What does the vinedresser do to keep this process going? He prunes these branches. The words “He prunes” translates the verb καθαίρει the Present Tense, Indicative Mood, Active Voice form of καθαίρω or kathairō, “to cleanse from filth; to clear by pruning, prune, to cleanse from sin, make expiation.”    View article →