Connect Group guide: The True Vine

The True Vine

If you missed hearing this talk in person you can listen again here.

Summary

John 15:1-17

Jesus is the true vine. Throughout the Old Testament, Israel is described as God’s vineyard. God’s hope and covenant promise was that His people would be blessed and would then be a blessing to the nations. Yet Israel chose to go their own way time and time again, and so the fruit they produced was worthless, and God refrained from tending His vineyard (see Isaiah 5). Jesus comes and tells His followers ‘I am the true vine’, effectively letting them know that He is the perfect embodiment and fulfilment of God’s promise and vision – that there will be a people who live within His greatest commands, and through this they are blessed and are a blessing to the nations – they are a fruitful, flourishing vineyard! This is us, His church. On Sunday we looked at John 15 and Jesus’ invitation to remain in Him. We’re invited to remain in Him, to receive from Him, to reorient our lives to live the way that He lived and trust the Father to prune and remove whatever is hindering more fruitfulness in our lives.

Discussion

Use some of the following questions to help you discuss the themes from this passage:

  1. Jesus’ invitation/command is to remain in Him and we will be fruitful. John 15 is a promise. What is your response to this? Share together your reflections on fruitfulness, purpose, and meaning within the
    context of Jesus words.
  2. As we remain in Him, we receive all that we need. A branch cannot bear fruit on its own. A branch can’t sustain itself – it needs the tree. Are you trying to live life in your own strength, power, and wisdom, or are you receiving from Him? Take some time to genuinely ask yourself these questions. Reflect together on your responses. What
    are you learning about receiving from Jesus?
  3. To remain or abide in Jesus is to live the way that He lived. Sometimes we need to step back and look at our lives, and see where we may need to reorient ourselves to live the way He did. Share your reflections on this with each other.
  4. What situations are you facing right now, where you sense God is pruning you? Where is He removing anything that hinders new growth? Are there things in your life that you know you need to let
    go of and entrust to the Father? How can you support each other in trusting the hands of the Father who is the gardener of our lives?

Prayer

Spend some time praying for one another, perhaps focussing on some of the areas of need you have each shared about. Use John 15 to shape your prayers.

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