The Corporate call of John 15

The Corporate call of John 15

The Corporate call of John 15

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 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. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (Jhn 15:1-5 ESV)

Most of my life I’ve read John 15 and have thought of it in an individualistic manner. The picture that I’ve always had in my mind when reading this chapter is me and Jesus and how I need to keep praying and reading the bible. The reality though is that John 15 is much deeper than just a call for us as individuals to be in relationship to Him!

The context of John 15 is that it is a corporate invitation, and not simply a conversation with an individual. He’s talking to many people, not just one and the culture that he was talking to was a communal culture, not an individualistic one. When they heard Jesus saying these words they weren’t just thinking of it in an individual manner but also in a communal manner. When Jesus was speaking to them, they weren’t just wondering how this affected each of them but also they were thinking how it affected ALL of them.

He said, “I am the vine and you (plural) are the branches (more than one).” You can read more about this here.

Abiding in Jesus is a corporate invitation for all of us to stay connected to Jesus and to each other. The call to abide in Him cannot be separated from the call to live in oneness with those in the Body of Christ. 

In order to stay connected to the Vine, we must be connected to its branches as well. Many times I have viewed this picture as Jesus being the vine and myself being my own branch. In the context of this scripture He is inviting them collectively to stay connected to Him. This requires each individual to commit to stay connected to Jesus and to other branches that may be integral to their connection with him.

Another common example that is used is the picture of us being the body of Christ and Him being the head of that body. If we are removed from the head, that is Christ, we cannot live. Also, if we disconnect from other parts of the body we cannot live. If the arm disconnects from the shoulder then the arm will die. If the lungs disconnect from the heart they will die. If a foot disconnects from the leg then the foot will die. (See 1 Cor 12)

Abiding in Christ looks like staying in intimate connection with Christ himself and with our fellow branches. We must get rid of our western, individualistic lense, and begin to understand that the invitation to abide is not only for us alone but for us (the body of Christ) as a whole. Holy Spirit wants us to see John15 as an invitation to remain connected to Jesus and others who are connected to Jesus.

Another analogy is that of a fire and it’s embers. The fires flame represents God (See Hebrews 12:29). Embers and coals represent Christians living in community and oneness together. If you remove a coal from the flame it will burn out. It cannot survive without the flames consuming energy. Also, if you take a coal away from the other coals it will become cold and burn out. But, if you keep the coal in the fire and in a bed of hot coals it will stay burning and hot. Jesus wants us to remain in Him and closely connected to others who are passionate for Him so that we can stay on fire for Him!

Written by: Andrew Chalmers

@landrewchalmers

Cover Photo Cred: PEXELS.COM

2 Comments

  1. Awesome Word and analogy. As the storm came through today, it sets an example of how much we as Believers must stay connected with one another with Christ as the head.

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  2. Thanks for posting. I have also been studying and struck by John 15. I was looking at it as me abiding in Him and He in me individually to sustain and thrive. However I completely agree with you. I can’t survive or thrive without those near me chasing after this together!! Abiding in Him together. It’s like you know that already, but we don’t act like it!

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Donna

My first encounter with Take the City was going to Wilson Apartments in Columbus GA. We were met by a man from that neighborhood who prayed with us before we began the outreach. We set up an area for the kids to play and others went door to door witnessing and praying for people. It truly was a humbling experience. Another time I got to pray at an abortion clinic which was another humbling experience. The worship services the night before are always dynamic and spirit led. However I will conclude with the best part for me was being an eight week participant of Take the City boot camp. All of the leaders were simply AWESOME and I learned so much during those eight weeks. I thank God for all these wonderful opportunities!