Presentation on theme: "Johannine Pastoral Presentation Rev. Mr. Jordan E. Gongora November 24, 2008."— Presentation transcript:
Johannine Pastoral Presentation Rev. Mr. Jordan E. Gongora November 24, 2008
A catechesis on: Abiding in Christ. I am the vine, you are the branches… John 15:5
An analogy… Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches.
The Text: John 15: 1-8 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples.
This chapter contains one of the most meaningful allegories in the Bible. In it we find those great I am passages recorded by John, pointing to the deity of Jesus Christ. Christ reveals everlasting truths. This passage presents the foundational principles for living the Christian life, that is, abiding in Christ and bearing fruit, a productive life; and the eternal destiny or punishment for certain individuals who refuse to abide in Christ.
v. 1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser In speaking to his disciples, Jesus chose the metaphor of a vine because of its various significance. The figure of a vine pictures an intimate union with branches that are totally dependent upon it. Thus a vine is a perfect illustration for showing fruit-bearing as evidence of spiritual productivity. This introduction is common to John, in that Jesus often says "I am..." I am the bread of life… I am the light of the world… I am the gate…I am the good Shepherd…, reveals the deity of Jesus.
Exodus 3: 13-14: Then Moses said to God, If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, What is his name? what shall I say to them? God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM. And he said, Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. Israel was identified as Gods vine in the Old Testament. (…my Father is the vinedresser) God operated through His people, He cared for them. Isaiah 5: 1-7 presents a similar scenario of the vine and the branches recorded in Johns Gospel.
My beloved had a vineyard…He dig it and cleared it of stones…and planted in it choice vines. When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes? I will remove its hedge and it shall be devoured… I will break down its walls and it shall be trampled down…I will make it a waste! What happened to the vine?? It was cut, discontinued, wasted! (If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned.)
v. 2- Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Those who work in grape vineyard have to be careful when handling the vines, for it is very difficult to draw a clear line between the vine and the branch, for the branches are literally a part of the vine. Figuratively speaking, this is the type of relationship Jesus desires to have with us- that we be united with Him. v. 3 You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to you. The cleaning here may be interpreted as pruning, mentioned above. May also mean, as Isaiah says, removing of stones, cleaning, etc... By the word which I have spoken to you...
v. 4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. Here fruit is analogous to works, deeds. This is the challenge Jesus sets before us. He reminds us that those who don't produce fruit are going to get cast aside. But Jesus reveals to us how we can produce fruit and avoid being tossed aside. How?? By abiding in Him. How do we abide? By faith.
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24 v. 6 If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned. Here we are presented with the divine judgment. Many claim to be with Christ: I go to church, I pray to God, etc… What is Jesus trying to tell us here? Bear fruit! It is not enough just to say I believe or I go to church, but we must bear fruit, or else well be cast out, thrown out and wither.
Bearing fruit is essential in order to be rightly called Christian, we need to abide in Him. v. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. Those who abide in Jesus may get whatever they pray for. When we abide in Jesus, we are being pruned to be conformed more and more to God's will. However, this passage should not be taken to mean that we can just pray for our selfish desires, without regard for others or what God wants.
v. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. This is the end result of the Christian life: 1.) That God is glorified 2.) That people know we are disciples of Jesus, and the many blessings that it entails.
. The parable of the vine and the branches gives a profound insight into the source of our faith and life as Christians. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit… Our Lord invites us to remain, to continue, to be with Him, as a branch cannot live or sustained itself apart from the vine. This parable also reminds us that to abide in Christ is not something of our own convenience, I need to be with Christ now…I dont need now… A branch of a tree or of a vine cannot decide to walk away, do its own thing, and then return when it needs nourishment or is scared by something. Abiding means to be glued, it is to be united, dependent…always! By abiding we are nourishes, strengthened and bear fruit; and pruning involves the removing of the dead parts; and being pruned is essential to being fruitful. It is about being always connected to the Lord Jesus.
In his Apostolic Exhortation, Christifideles Laici, the late Pope John Paul II intends to stir and promote a deeper awareness among all the faithful of the gift and responsibility they share, both as a group and as individuals, in the communion and mission of the Church. By using the parable of the vine and the branches, John Paul II said: John the Evangelist invites us to go further and leads us to discover the mystery of the vine: it is the figure and symbol not only of the People of God, but of Jesus himself. He is the vine and we, his disciples, are the branches. He is the true vine, to which the branches are engrafted to have life.
The Pope reminds the faithful that through baptism they are made one with Christ and are established among the People of God. According to the image of the vine and the branches, the lay faithful, together with all the other members of the Church, are branches engrafted to Christ the true vine, and from him derive their life and fruitfulness. Thus, engrafted to the vine and brought to life, the branches are expected to bear fruit, at which the John Paul II exhorts the lay faithful to be in communion and mission, for communion represents both the source and the fruit of mission. (Communion and mission are profoundly connected to each other.) And so, John Paul II invites the faithful to be truly united with Christ and the members of His Body, the Church, by performing our duty as members of the Church. …active and responsible participation in the life and mission of the Church.