Good News Translation (GNT)
1 I am the real vine,
and my Father is the gardener.
2 He breaks off every branch in me
that does not bear fruit,
and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit,
so that it will be clean and bear more fruit.
3 You have been made clean already by
the teaching I have given you.
4 Remain united to me,
and I will remain united to you.
A branch cannot bear fruit by itself;
it can do so only if it remains in the vine.
In the same way you cannot bear fruit
unless you remain in me.
5 "I am the vine, and you are the branches.
Those who remain in me, and I in them,
will bear much fruit;
for you can do nothing without me.
6 Those who do not remain in me
are thrown out like a branch and dry up;
such branches are gathered up
and thrown into the fire,
where they are burned.
7 If you remain in me and my words
remain in you, then you will ask for
anything you wish, and you shall have it.
8 My Father's glory is shown by
your bearing much fruit;
and in this way you become my disciples.
'The Applied New Testament Commentary'
The Vine and the Branches
In order to show what the Christian life
is like, Jesus here gives the illustration of
a vine and its branches.
In the Old Testament, Israel was called a vine.
God's true vine is Jesus Himself.
If we do not bear fruit, it is a sign that
his Spirit is not in us.
Such a branch God cuts away.
However, the fruitful branch God trims clean,
or cleanses, that it might bear more fruit.
God cuts away the bad twigs -
that is, our bad habits and sins.
This can be very painful.
Jesus assured His disciples that they were clean.
They were living branches ready to bear fruit.
To remain in Jesus means to love Him,
to obey Him, to pray to Him, to worship Him.
If we do not remain in Jesus,
we shall not bear fruit.
Not only that, we shall wither and die.
We can do no spiritual work apart from him.
Let us never forget what happens to branches
that become separated from the vine.
They die and are thrown into the fire.
The Scriptures, especially the New Testament,
are the words of Jesus.
Jesus taught that if we ask anything in His name,
He will do it.
If we abide in Jesus and keep his words in our heart,
we shall always pray according to his will.
In the Christian life, we always find
two things appearing together:
promises and conditions.
If we fulfill the condition,
God will fulfill His promise.
One example is that
If a man has faith, God will fulfill his request.
The condition is that the man must have faith;
the promise is that the request will be fulfilled.
If a man forgives others,
God will forgive him.
If a man draws near to God,
God will draw near to him.
Often we do not receive what we ask for
because we have not fulfilled the condition.
When we say it wasn't God's will,
we are in a sense blaming God for
not fulfilling our wishes.
We have not fulfilled the conditions.
After we have finished our prayer,
we often say to God,
"Please grant our request - if it is your will."
We are admitting that we have prayed
without really knowing what God's will is.
If His words remain in us,
then we shall know what God's will is.
For the most part we can find out God's will
simply by reading the Bible.
When I pray, I talk to God;
when I read the Bible, He talks to me.
True prayer is not just talking to God -
it's also listening to God.
Therefore, the words (of Jesus)
come not only from the Bible
but also directly from Himself.
We learn what God's "particular will" is
(that is, His will in specific circumstances)
through the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Our own selfish desires will prevent us
from knowing what His will is.
Now we can understand the full meaning
of these words: namely, that our spirits must
be the same as Jesus' Spirit,
that our mind and our will must be the same
as his mind and will.
We must live not for ourselves, but for him.
We are not our own; we are his!
Our fruit brings Him glory.
Just as God was glorified in Jesus,
so God will also be glorified in us,
that is, by our fruit,
especially by our love - men
will know that we are disciples.