John 15:1-17

The branches must stay in the vine

1 Jesus said, ‘I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 Some branches that are part of me may have no fruit on them. My Father completely removes all those branches. But other branches do have fruit. My Father cuts all those branches to make them better. Then they will be good and make more fruit. 3 The words that I have spoken to you have made you good already. 4 Continue to live in me, and I will continue to live in you. A branch cannot make fruit by itself. It can make fruit only if it continues to be part of the vine. You are like that. You cannot make fruit unless you continue to live in me.

15:1A vine is a plant that has many small, sweet fruits called grapes. People make wine from grapes.

5 I am the vine, and you are the branches. You must remain in me and I must remain in you. Only if you do that will you make plenty of fruit. That is because you can do nothing without me. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, that person is like a dead branch. The gardener will throw that branch away and it will become dry. People throw all those dry branches into the fire so that they burn. 7 You must remain in me, and my message must remain in you. Then you may ask for anything that you want. And God will do it for you. 8 If you make plenty of fruit, that will show how great and how good my Father is. You will show that you really are my disciples.

9 I have loved you in the same way that the Father has loved me. Continue to live in a way that shows my love. 10 If you obey what I have told you, you will be living in my love. In the same way, I have obeyed what my Father has told me to do. In that way, I live in his love. 11 I want you to be completely happy, in the same way that I myself am happy. That is why I have told you these things.

12 This is the rule that I give to you: You must love each other, in the same way that I have loved you. 13 A person really loves his friends if he dies on behalf of them. Nobody could love anyone more than that. 14 And you are my friends, if you obey my message. 15 A servant does not know what his master is doing. So I do not call you servants any longer. No, I call you my friends. This is because I have told you everything that I have heard from my Father. 16 You did not choose me, but I chose you. I chose you to go and to make plenty of fruit. That kind of fruit will continue always. For that reason, the Father will help you with anything that you ask him. If you ask him in my name, he will do it for you. 17 This is what I tell you to do: You must love each other.’

15:16Jesus says that his disciples should ask for things ‘in his name’. This means ‘because they belong to him’. So they will ask only for things that God is happy to give to them.