The vineyard references are deeply embedded in the Old Testament as a symbol for Israel, especially in two vineyard songs in Isaiah (Isaiah 5:1-7 and Isaiah 27:2-6). But Israel failed in bearing fruit. God as the vinedresser is taken from the first vineyard song. In that passage, God is depicted tending His vineyard, but the vineyard produced wild grapes (unrighteousness). Jesus is the true vine, and His disciples are the branches. The fruit is the outward signs and effect on the world of the Christian life in those branches. Those who do not bear fruit are not abiding in Jesus – not being true disciples, perhaps just going through some of the motions. Verse 7 (“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you”) is another important point to remember about prayer – abiding in Him means that our prayers reflect His will.
As Jesus again commands them to love each other as He has loved them, He tells them they are His friends,not just servants; and because of that He has made known to them the things of the Father, and the Holy Spirit will come to guide them. He also warns that just as He was persecuted they will also be persecuted. The “word that is written in their Law” Jesus referred to being fulfilled in verse 25 comes from Psalm 69:4 and Isaiah 35:19.
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some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog. All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility. When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com. For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.
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