The Vine and Branches

by Jesse Lyman Hurlbut

Then Jesus gave to his disciples another parable, "The Vine and the Branches." He said:

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower, the Master of the vineyard. You, my disciples, and all who believe in me, are the branches of the vine. If the vine-grower finds on his vine any branches that bear no fruit, he cuts them off, for they are of no use. If he finds branches that bear fruit, he trims them and cleans them, so that they may bear better fruit. You are already clean through the word that I have spoken to you. Keep united to me, the vine, and I will keep united to you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit by itself when separate from the vine, no more can you bear fruit unless you stay united to me.

"Remember, I am the vine, and you are the branches. He who keeps himself in union with me, and keeps me in union with himself bears rich fruit. But apart from me you can do nothing. If any one does not stay united to me, he is thrown away, just as a branch would be, and he withers up; then the worthless, withered branches are gathered and thrown into the fire and are burned.

"If you stay united to me, and my teaching stays in your hearts, you may ask whatever you wish, and it shall be yours. As you bear rich fruit and prove yourselves my disciples, my Father is honored. As my Father has loved me, so I have loved you; stay in my love. If you keep my commands in your hearts, you will stay in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands in my heart and dwell in his love."

Jesus on giving his last talk with his disciples, in the room after the supper. Among other things, he said:

"This is my last command to you. Love one another as I have loved you. No one can give greater proof of love than by laying down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not any more call you 'servants'; for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you 'friends,' for all things that I have learned from my Father I have told you.

It was not you who chose
me, but I have chosen you, and appointed you to go and bear fruit that shall last, so that the Father may give you whatever you ask in my name.

"This is what I command you, to love one another. If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, since I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you.

what I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they have tried to do me harm, they will try to do you harm too. If they hold to my word, they will hold to yours also. It is written in the Holy Book, 'They hated me without any cause,' and that word has come true in me; for they have indeed hated me when there was no cause for it.