5th Sunday of Easter
Acts 9:26-31 II:
1 John 3:18-24
1 "I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.
2 Every branch of mine that bears no fruit, he takes away, and
every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear
3 You are already made clean by the word which I have spoken to
4 Abide in me, and I in you. 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. He who abides in me, and I
in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you
can do nothing.
6 If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and
withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire
7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you
will, and it shall be done for you.
8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit, and
so prove to be my disciples.
- Context: This passage begins a long monologue (Ch. 15-17) in the
farewell discourse that Jesus delivered to the disciples in the Last
Supper on the eve of His death.
- (v.1) In the Old Testament, the vine often symbolizes the image of
Israel (Is 5:1-7, Jer 2:21, Ezek 15:1-6). John used the word "true" in
the context of a replacement as "true" bread (Jn 6:32) to replace manna.
Jesus is the true vine, the vine that was planted, pruned and cared by
His Father, the vine that carries life into the branches so that they
can bear fruit. Jesus is the source of life, the fulfillment of all that
- (v.3) The Greek verb "kathairein" has two meanings: to prune and to
cleanse. The fruit-bearing followers have been cleansed by the word so
that they can bear more fruit.
- (vv.4-7) The expression "remain with" or "abide in" is repeated no
less than 6 times in this passage. The demand for the intimate unity
between his followers and Jesus is so urgent and necessary. This unity
also establishes the confidence in prayer (v.7) .
- (v.5) No purely human act can have any value for eternal life, unless
it is done under the influence of grace.
One Main Point
Jesus demanded his followers to remain with Him since He is the source
of life. Without Jesus one can do nothing but withered. Together with
Jesus whatever one asks will be granted, whatever one does the Father
will be glorified.
- Where do I need to be pruned to bear more fruit? Am I bearing the
- How do I abide in Jesus and He in me? What spiritual nourishment do I
need in everyday life to remain with Him?
- Where is the real bond between me and other people of the Church?
Where is that unity missing? How do I strengthen these bonds?
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A synthesis by the Vietnamese Christian Life (Dong Hanh) Community