I am the true vine - Perhaps the vines which they met with, on their road from Bethany to Gethsemane, might have given rise to this discourse. Some of the disciples were probably making remarks on the different kinds of them, and our Lord took the opportunity of improving the conversation, according to his usual manner, to the instruction of their souls. He might here term himself the true vine, or vine of the right sort, in opposition to the wild and barren vine. Some MSS. and several of the fathers read the verse thus: I am the true vine, ye are the branches, and my Father is the husbandman. Some think that, as this discourse followed the celebration of the Eucharist, our Lord took occasion from the fruit of the vine, used in that ordinance, to introduce this similitude.
I am the true vine - Some have supposed that this discourse was delivered in the room where the Lord‘s Supper was instituted, and that, as they had made use of wine, Jesus took occasion from that to say that he was the true vine, and to intimate that his blood was the real wine that was to give strength to the soul. Others have supposed that it was delivered in the temple, the entrance to which was adorned with a golden vine (Josephus), and that Jesus took occasion thence to say that he was the true vine; but it is most probable that it was spoken while they were going from the paschal supper to the Mount of Olives. Whether it was suggested by the sight of vines by the way, or by the wine of which they had just partaken, cannot now be determined. The comparison was frequent among the Jews, for Palestine abounded in vineyards, and the illustration was very striking. Thus, the Jewish people are compared to a vine which God had planted, Isaiah 5:1-7; Psalm 80:8-16; Joel 1:7; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 19:10. When Jesus says he was the true vine, perhaps allusion is had to Jeremiah 2:21. The word “true,” here, is used in the sense of real, genuine. He really and truly gives what is emblematically represented by a vine. The point of the comparison or the meaning of the figure is this: A vine yields proper juice and nourishment to all the branches, whether these are large or small. All the nourishment of each branch and tendril passes through the main stalk, or the vine, that springs from the earth. So Jesus is the source of all real strength and grace to his disciples. He is their leader and teacher, and imparts to them, as they need, grace and strength to bear the fruits of holiness.
And my Father is the husbandman - The word “vine-dresser” more properly expresses the sense of the original word than husbandman. It means one who has the care of a vineyard; whose office it is to nurture, trim, and defend the vine, and who of course feels a deep interest in its growth and welfare. See the notes at Matthew 21:33. The figure means that God gave, or appointed his Son to be, the source of blessings to man; that all grace descends through him; and that God takes care of all the branches of this vine - that is, of all who are by faith united to the Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus and all his church he feels the deepest interest, and it is an object of great solicitude that his church should receive these blessings and bear much fruit.
A profession of religion is of no value unless good works testify to the sincerity and reality of its claim.... Those who make great professions and do not bear the fruits of godliness make it manifest that they are not abiding in the True Vine, for “by their fruits ye shall know them.” They are dead branches.... TMK 113.2Read in context »
Another Vision While Writing—I arose early Thursday morning, about two o'clock, and was writing busily upon the True Vine, when I felt a presence in my room, as I have many times before, and I lost all recollection of what I was about. I seemed to be in the presence of Jesus. He was communicating to me that in which I was to be instructed. Everything was so plain that I could not misunderstand. 3SM 36.1Read in context »
As Christ was speaking these words, the glory of God was shining in His countenance, and all present felt a sacred awe as they listened with rapt attention to His words. They felt their hearts more decidedly drawn to Him, and as they were drawn to Christ in greater love, they were drawn to one another. They felt that heaven was very near them, that the words to which they listened were a message to them from the heavenly Father (Manuscript 41, 1897). 5BC 1142.1
9-11. The Divine Authority of Jesus—The world's Redeemer was equal with God. His authority was as the authority of God. He declared that He had no existence separate from the Father. The authority by which He spoke, and wrought miracles, was expressly His own, yet He assures us that He and the Father are one.... 5BC 1142.2
As Legislator, Jesus exercised the authority of God; His commands and decisions were supported by the Sovereignty of the eternal throne. The glory of the Father was revealed in the Son; Christ made manifest the character of the Father. He was so perfectly connected with God, so completely embraced in His encircling light, that he who had seen the Son, had seen the Father. His voice was as the voice of God (The Review and Herald, January 7, 1890). 5BC 1142.3Read in context »
Under the figure of the vine and its branches is illustrated the relation of Christ to His followers and the relation of His followers to one another. The branches are all related to one another, yet each has an individuality which is not merged in that of another. All have a common relation to the vine and depend upon it for their life, their growth, and their fruitfulness. They cannot sustain one another. Each for itself must be centered in the vine. And while the branches have a common likeness, they also present diversity. Their oneness consists in their common union with the vine, and through each, though not in just the same way, is manifested the life of the vine. 7T 171.1
This figure has a lesson, not only for individual Christians, but for the institutions that are engaged in God's service. In their relation to one another each is to maintain its individuality. Union with one another comes through union with Christ. In Him each institution is united to every other, while at the same time its identity is not merged in that of another. 7T 171.2Read in context »