Day 29 (Monday, April 8, 2019)


John 15:1-11

1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”


The prevailing ethos of today, that the individual is the most important person in the world, inspires a self-interest and self-love that too often neglects the worth and needs of others, especially of those deemed unlovely.

How against the grain is Jesus’ teaching in John 15. He speaks of himself as the true vine and those who follow him as the branches that are to produce the fruit of love. In the past, God had planted Israel as a vine (Psalm 80:8-11), but it had produced the bad fruit of injustice and distress (Isaiah 5:7).

God in Christ was about to prune and make clean a new people through Jesus’ death (John 10:18). Jesus’ washing the disciples’ feet symbolized this cleansing – a promise authenticated by Jesus’ word, showing it was true.

So Jesus teaches us that when we truly abide in him and he through his Spirit in us, we will bear the fruit of self-forgetfulness: serving and doing good works for one another, including the unlovely. Paradoxically, when we love and serve one another in this way we will discover satisfying, unexpected joy. This will glorify God.

Furthermore, others will see it and be drawn to it; for deep down everyone is looking for satisfying relationships. How often do we ignore opportunities to serve and create unnecessary tension in small matters, whether at church, at work or in our household. Jesus teaches us, “I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.”


Lord God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: mercifully accept our prayers, and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do nothing good without you, grant us the help of your grace, so that in keeping your commands we may please you both in will and deed, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP, Trinity 1)

Daily Reading Plan

Read again John 15:1-11. Take some time to meditate on what it means for you to abide in Christ and be adopted as one of God’s children.