Thoughts and Questions 29 November 2020
A couple of weeks ago we saw the way that Isaiah (chapter 11) described a branch from the stump of Jesse, and we, with the rest of Christendom, agreed that he was writing about Jesus. In that passage we also notice that this branch would bear fruit – verse 1.
Here, in this reading, we have The Branch (Jesus) describing Himself as the vine, and His disciples as the branches.
- There is, of course, a close link between a gardener and his plants, but there is also a clear difference. How do you understand the idea that God (the Father) is the gardener and Jesus (the Son) is the plant? – v1
- How would you describe the branch and the fruit in this context? – v2
- In your day-to-day life, how does being part of the same ‘plant’ as Jesus affect your thoughts, actions, conversation?
- What do you think the word ‘clean’ (NIV) means here? – v3
- It appears that rather than it being ‘bad fruit or good fruit’, it’s ‘some fruit or no fruit’. How does this fit in with your previous thought about the fruit? – v4, 5
- What are your thoughts on branches being cut off and burned in this way? – v6
There is a double reference to the power of Jesus’ words within this passage. In verse 3 we find that the word has cleansing powers; in verse 7 it offers authority to ask and be certain of receiving.
- Do you think this word is:
a) specific to the immediate hearers?
b) specific words that Jesus spoke (or speaks)?
- How can we ensure that the glory goes to the Father when we ‘bear much fruit’, or do you think it happens automatically? – v8
- What would be a good definition of a disciple?