I Am the Vine and You Are the Branches

Yeshua the Nazarene taught, in the parable of the Vine, truths known by many Nazarene believers in Yeshua. These are found in John 15:1-10. The main thrust includes several factors:
1) To remain in the Vine a disciple must produce fruit.
A disciple is ‘pruned’ by the Word.
3) A disciple may only remain in the Eternal’s love by continued obedience.


John 15:1-10 [HRB - Hebrew Roots Bible]
1 I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser.
2 Every branch in Me not bearing fruit, He takes it away; and each one bearing fruit, He prunes, so that it may bear more fruit.
3 You are already pruned because of the Word which I have spoken to you.
4 Remain in Me, and I in you. As the branch is not able to bear fruit of itself, unless it remain in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.
5 I am the Vine and you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, this man will produce plentiful fruit because without me you are not able to do anything.
6 Unless one remains in Me, he is cast out as the branch and is dried up; and they gather and throw them into a fire, and they are burned.
7 If you remain in Me, and My Words remain in you, whatever you desire you will ask, and it shall happen to you. 
8 In this My Father is glorified, that you should bear much fruit; and you will be disciples to Me.
9 As the Father loved Me, I also loved you; continue in My love.
10 If you keep My commandments you will continue in My love, as I have kept My Father's commandments and continue in His love.
[Yeshua's words in purple]

What did Yeshua include or associate with this need to produce fruit? What is included in such ‘bearing of fruit’? A brief review of some of our Yeshua’s words in John 15:1-10 will help us appreciate our need to be fruitful.
Yeshua said:

John 15:2  [HRB]
Every branch in me not producing fruit He removes, and everyone producing fruit He prunes so that it may bear more fruit.

Any “believer/branch” belonging to Messiah cannot be an ‘unfruitful branch’ otherwise the Eternal takes it away, prunes it away, or cuts it away from the Vine itself.
It is the Eternal who removes any unfruitful branches and this for a failure to produce. [Matthew 15:13; Hebrews 6:8]

Those who do produce fruit, the Eternal ‘prunes’ – or purges, cleanses, trims cleans.
Yeshua explains that the branch that produces fruit is further ‘pruned’ in order for it to bear more fruit 

 John 15:3  [HRB]
You are already pruned because of the Word which I have spoken to you.

It is the teachings of Yeshua that ‘prunes’ or ‘cleans’. Without a familiarity with these teachings there can be no pruning or cleaning – John 17:17
The ‘branch’ must continue, to abide, or dwell in Yeshua and this involves continuing in his teachings. Messiah will then continue his close relationship with the disciple.

The disciple must remain in an intimate relationship with Messiah just as a branch does with the Vine. The branch cannot exist without the Vine – John 15:5-7.

Producing fruit is what characterises those who continue in Yeshua’s teachings and maintain a close relationship with him. Those who do not ‘accomplish anything’ by not producing fruit have parted from Messiah. The Eternal Himself as the Farmer or Vine-dresser will, as some versions word it: ‘cast forth’, ‘throw away’, ‘trim off’, ‘cast aside’ – as a result that branch withers or dries up.

There is no absolute guarantee that a branch may automatically remain in the Vine. Such ‘branches’ that do not remain in the teachings of Yeshua the Nazarene and maintaining a good relationship with him, will be cast off and destroyed.
Those who maintain their relationship in Messiah must also ‘remain in his sayings’ 

John 15:7  [HRB]
If you remain in Me, and My Words remain in you, whatever you desire you will ask, and it shall happen to you.

One cannot separate the Nazarene’s teachings from the Nazarene himself. Any disciple who refuses to remain in Yeshua’s teachings, no longer remains in a relationship with him.
Yeshua taught that it was the disciple’s ‘producing of fruit’ that glorified his Father – John 15:8-10
It is this bearing of fruit that ‘proves’ one is a ‘genuine disciple’ –  Matthew 5:16; John 13:35;
2 Corinthians 13:5.
 It is not enough to claim to be a disciple of Messiah. There must be a ‘producing of fruit’ in proof of such a claim.
Only in this way may a disciple ‘remain in Messiah’s love’. This love is not automatic, but conditional based on:
a] continuing in Yeshua’s teachings
b] maintaining a relationship with him
c] producing fruit
d] obeying his commandments
Note the following phrase when the Nazarene says: <IF you continue to observe my commandments>
This love is conditioned on obedience to the Nazarene commandments. 
In this matter Yeshua himself set the example of obedient ‘bearing of fruit’. He himself had to remain in the Eternal’s love by obedience. The Son’s own relationship with his Father was conditioned on his own observance of His commandments.

John 8:29  [HRB]
And He who sent me is with me and does not leave me alone, because my Father is pleased at all times with the things that I do.

Shaul (Paul) echoes the same when he writes 

Hebrews 5:8-9  [HRB]
8 and though He was a good Son, because of the fear and suffering which he endured, He learned obedience.
9 And having been perfected, He came to be the Author of eternal salvation to all the ones obeying Him

How can such producing of fruit be identified? What do the Scriptures teach on the kind of fruit a Nazarene disciple must continue to produce? Consider some of the following.

There can be no true spiritual ‘producing of fruit’ without repentance. Yohanan the Immerser (John the Baptist) taught this:

Matthew 3:8-10 [HRB]
8 Therefore, bring forth fruits worthy of repentance.
9 And do not suppose to say within yourselves, we have a father, Abraham. For I say to you that YAHWEH is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.
10 But already the axe is even laid at the root of the trees; therefore, any tree not bringing forth good fruit is cut off and is thrown into fire.

Before embarking on a life of discipleship each person must first feel a genuine regret for past attitudes, inclinations, and life-style. True repentance is evidenced by recognisable ‘producing of fruit.’
For example Shaul (Paul) wrote about such repentance and how it was characterised at

2 Corinthians 7:10-11 [HRB] 
10 For sorrow over the things of YAHWEH works enduring repentance of the soul, that brings one to life. But the sorrow over the things of the world causes death.
11 For behold this same thing, that distressed you on account of YAHWEH, has resulted much more in painstaking effect, but also in apology, but also anger, but also fear, but also love, but also zeal, but also vengeance! In everything you proved yourselves to be clear in the matter.

‘Bearing of good fruit’ is characterised by good speech. Good speech, that is which is favourable about others, comes from a good heart. What is unfavourable about others comes from a wicked heart.
Yeshua taught:

Matthew 12:33-37 [HRB]
33 Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree corrupt and its fruit corrupt; for the tree is known by the fruit.
34 Generation of vipers! How can you, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.
35 The good man out of the good treasure of the heart puts forth good things. And the evil man out of the evil treasure puts forth evil things.
36 But I say to you, that every vain word, whatever men may speak, they shall give an account of it in Judgment Day.
37 For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

It is clear from Yeshua’s teachings that <every fruitless word> humans speak will come back to haunt both Jew and Believer in Yeshua on the Day of Judgement. No one can claim to be a genuine worshipper of the Eternal and yet slander fellow worshippers. Ya’aqob James echoes his brother and Master when he writes:

James 1:26 [HRB]
And if anyone thinks that he ministers to Elohim, and does not restrain his tongue, he deceives his own heart, and his service is in vain.

In a life-time a Nazarene produces a record of either good speech or harmful speech. If good speech is viewed as godly bearing of fruit, then the ‘genuine disciple’ will be characterised by such.

Yeshua taught that not all produce the same amount of fruit. What is important to the Nazarene is that the ‘producing of fruit’ is increased in some measure. This ever-producing of fruit is the result of listening to his teachings with an obedient heart.
of the Sower. Some of the seed fell on the side of the road and was stepped on and eaten by birds; other seed fell on a rock and growing it dried up because of lack of moisture; other seed fell in the middle of thorn bushes and they choked it; yet other seed fell on good soil and produced fruit a hundredfold.
Consider Messiah’s explanation of his parable

Luke 8:15 [HRB]
And that seed which fell on good ground, they are those who with an honest and good heart hear the Word and retain it and bear fruit with patience.

First the individual hears of Messiah’s teachings with ‘a good and honest heart’. Then after ‘retaining the Word’ fruit is produced throughout the disciple’s life.

Shaul writes about producing fruit as that of making disciples, or new followers of Messiah:

Romans 1:13 [HRB]
But I do not wish you to be ignorant, brothers, that often I purposed to come to you, and was kept back until the present, that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among the other nations{non-Jewish peoples}.

Shaul uses the word <fruit> several times in the context of finding and making new disciples of Christ 

Philippians 1:22; 4:17; Colossians 1:6  [HRB]
1:22 But if I have fruits of my labors in this life of the flesh, I do not know what to choose.
4:17 ...I seek the fruits of the good news multiplying to you.
Colossians 1:6...it is bearing fruit even also among you, from the day in which you heard and knew the grace of Elohim in truth;

He writes in Hebrews

Hebrews 13:15 [HRB]
Then through Him let us offer up a sacrifice of praise to YAHWEH always, that is, the fruit of the lips, giving thanks to His name.

It is automatic that from true faith results in ‘speech’ about Yeshua the Messiah and his Kingdom. In 2 Corinthians 4. Shaul writes about what moved him

2 Corinthians 4:13  [HRB]
But having the same spirit of faith, according to what has been written, "I believed, therefore I spoke," we also believe, therefore we also speak. 
(See Psalm 116:10)

In the course of a life time the genuine disciple will produce fruit because of talking to others about the Gospel. This may include family, relatives, friends, school-mates, work-mates, or perfect strangers. Our Master set the perfect role model in such disciple-making, and his first disciples demonstrated how this could be done. If one has been a believer for many decades and looks back over a life without having produced any fruit at all in the realm of disciple-making, then it is important to accept that ‘pruning’ from the Word. This failure to be producing fruit similar to our Master’s may be corrected by asking those who are successful how they managed to produce such fruit. [Compare Matthew 28:19]

A true Nazarene’s bearing of fruit can never be separated from charity. Shaul associates such charity with producing fruit. He writes:

Romans 15:26-28  [HRB]
26 For both Macedonia and Achaia thought it good to make certain gifts to the poor of the saints in Jerusalem.
27 For they thought it good, also being debtors of them; for if the nations shared in their spiritual things, they ought also to minister to them in the fleshly things.
28 Then completing and having sealed this fruit to them, I will go through you into Spain.

He also compares such bearing of fruit to a spiritual sacrifice:

Hebrews 13:16  [HRB]
But do not be forgetful of doing good and sharing, for Elohim is well pleased with such sacrifices.

The mental, emotional and personality traits of an individual should also give evidence of growing fruit. After a few years of ‘following the Lamb no matter where he goes’ will give evidence of some of the following characteristics.

Galatians 5:22-24  [HRB]
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith,
23 meekness, self-control. Against such things there is no instruction.
24 But the ones belonging to Messiah crucified the flesh with its passions and lusts.

This producing of fruit is compared to the purest light

Ephesians 5:8-9  [HRB]
8 for you then were darkness, but are now light in the Master; walk as children of light.
9 For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth

True it takes hard work to improve the character, and sometimes it requires self-discipline as well as godly discipline.

Hebrews 12:11  [HRB]
And all discipline for the present indeed does not seem to be joyous, but grievous; but afterward it gives back peaceable fruit of righteousness to the ones having been exercised by it.

After accepting Messiah in the heart the genuine disciple will grow through his/her life in a knowledge and understanding of the Eternal Word.
Shaul describes it this way

Colossians 1:9-10  [HRB]
9 For this cause also, from the day in which we heard, we do not cease praying on your behalf, and asking that you may be filled with the full knowledge of the will of Elohim in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,
10 That you may live a righteous life pleasing YAHWEH and bearing fruit in every good work and growing into the full knowledge of Elohim

Any observer can always tell when this Messiah-like producing of fruit is growing and producing because it always produces peace.
James wrote

James 3:17-18 [HRB]
17 But the wisdom from above is firstly truly perfect, then peaceable, gentle, obedient, full of mercy and of good fruits, not partial and without hypocrisy.
18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for the ones making peace.

It is clear from the teachings of our Master Yeshua that a disciple must produce fruit if he/she is to remain connected to the Vine; and, that such fruit identifies the tree.

Matthew 7:16-20  [HRB]
16 From their fruits you shall know them. Do they gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
17 So every good tree produces good fruits, but the corrupt tree produces evil fruits.
18 A good tree cannot produce evil fruits, nor a corrupt tree produce good fruits.
19 Every tree not producing good fruit is cut down and is thrown into fire.
20 Then surely from their fruits you shall know them

Mark Heber Miller;
Nazarene Commentary 2000
Used by permission