SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- Jesus teaches his disciples using a vine as an analogy. He says that he is the vine, and we are the branches. Just as branches need to stay connected to a vine to receive nutrients and stay alive, we need to stay connected to Jesus.
- Jesus says that as a gardner will prune branches to make them more fruitful, God may prune us to make us more fruitful.
- Jesus says we stay connected to him and his love by obeying his commands.
- Jesus teaches that when we bear fruit, the result should be that glory is brought to God.
- Jesus also teaches on the importance of people loving each other as he has loved us.
- And Jesus warns us that if we truly follow him there will be people who hate us, just as the world hated him.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- The key principle in this chapter is if we stay connected to Jesus, we will bear fruit. If we don't stay connected to Jesus, we will bear no fruit that lasts and has real significance. What does Jesus mean by "fruit"? Fruit can be the impact your life has on this world. The positive influence you have, the difference you make, is the fruit of your life. And fruit can also be godly character traits that are produced in you through having God in you. See a description of what this fruit might consist of in Galatians 5:22-23.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- What kind of positive impact are you having with your life? How many people would say their lives are different because your life is in theirs'? If your impact has been lacking, it probably means your connection with Jesus isn't close enough. So what can you do to change that?
- Read back through the list of fruit in Galatians 5:22-23. Do they characterize your life? Again, if these godly character traits are lacking, it probably means your connection with Jesus isn't close enough. So, again, what can you do to change that?