The vine and the branches. The torch is passed from Israel to the Church, John 15:1.

Class Outline:

Title: The vine and the branches. The torch is passed from Israel to the Church, John 15:1.


Class schedule next week.


John 14:31Arise, let us go from here.


Not recorded by John is that they sang the last part of the Hallel (Psa 113 - 118) Psalm 118 before leaving the Passover supper, which the Lord has just transformed into the bread and wine ritual for the church to remember Him.


/Matt 26:30

And after singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. \


I just want to note the last stanza of Psa 118.


Ps 118:22 The stone which the builders rejected

Has become the chief corner stone.


The fact that Christ is the chief corner stone is prophesized by Isaiah in ISA 28:16. Every Jew knew this. Every Jew sang Psa 118 during the Passover week. This verse was quoted by the Lord in the parable of the vinegrowers 3 days prior.

It was again quoted by Peter in the temple directly after Pentecost and written in his first epistle. But it wasn’t until after the cross that more than 5000 Jews would believe that the chief corner stone in this verse applied to Jesus Christ the Nazarene.


Ps 118:23This is the Lord's doing [not Jew or Roman];

It is marvelous in our eyes.


Ps 118:24This is the day which the Lord has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.


Ps 118:25O Lord, do save [Hosanna], we beseech Thee;

O Lord, we beseech Thee, do send prosperity!


Ps 118:26Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord;

We have blessed you from the house of the Lord.


Verses 25 and 26 were shouted by the crowds 6 days prior when the Lord entered Jerusalem on the back of the colt. Yet, as we have noted many times, the salvation they desired was national and not spiritual.


They shouted, over and over again, for the crown and not the cross just like they sang this verse over and over again throughout their lives without understanding it.


Ps 118:27The Lord is God, and He has given us light [light has come into the world - John 1:4-9 but the darkness did not comprehend it];

Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar.


This is what the Psalm is for; not the national deliverance of the Millennium, but the sacrifice that makes the Millennium at all possible. The altar refers to the brazen altar in front of the holy place where the animal sacrifice was killed and burned by the Levitical priests as a shadow ritual to the cross of Christ in His spiritual death, judgment, and physical death.


This is the last legitimate time that this Psalm would be sung and it has been reserved for centuries for this particular Passover headed by Christ and attended by those who would begin the Church-age.


Ps 118:28Thou art my God, and I give thanks to Thee;

Thou art my God, I extol Thee.


Ps 118:29Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;

For His lovingkindness [grace] is everlasting.


Now that this was sung, it was time to leave. And for Christ, knowing exactly what was to come upon Him was walking right into the final hour of His ultimate suffering.


John 15 - 16 is spoken on the way to the Garden of Gethsemane and at the door of the Garden. The Lord continues to teach the disciples of the mystery doctrine of the Church.


They will still not get much of it now, but as He promised, when the Holy Spirit comes He will teach them all things and bring to their remembrance everything He said.


/[2 maps of Jerusalem]\


Leaving the house the group would have seen a lively place with lamps in the windows and people outside getting ready for the temple to open its gates at midnight. It is spring time, but near midnight, so the air is crisp with a bit of a chill. I would imagine that not much was said as they traveled east through the city and out of the east gate and into the quiet darkness of the Kidron Valley. Most likely it would be here that Christ would begin to speak, and urgently again, about the most important knowledge that the disciples had ever heard. It is approximately a 300 yard walk, due east, to the Garden of Gethsemane, which is at the base of the Mount of Olives.


Gethsemanemeans “oil-press” and it rightly becomes the place of Christ’s greatest pressure, but that will not come until He has completed His discourse which is recorded in John 15 - 16.


John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.


Nature is a parable of God. Natural objects are used often in the word of God to represent various truths. And for those that are not used in the scripture, in each of her forms we have a revelation of God—not so complete as that given through the mind of prophets, or the life of Jesus Christ; but still a revelation of the Divine.


Each natural object, as it stood in Eden’s untainted beauty, displayed some aspect of Him whom no man can see and live. The wild fruit-trees among the trees of the woods that reveal God’s providence; the lily of the valley; the cedar, with its dark green foliage and strength from which to build; the rock with its strength from which we build upon; the sea with its enormity and power, but held back like the judgment of God in His patient enduring; the heaven with its limpid blue, like the divine compassion, over-arching all as does His grace.


These are some of the shadowing in the natural world of spiritual qualities in the nature of God. The vine was made the clinging, needful, and helpless plant it is, that it might for ever remind men of certain deep characteristics of the divine nature.


First we must note the vine in representing Israel in the age of Israel.


/Israel was a vine moved from Egypt and planted in the Promised Land flowing with prosperity (milk and honey), PSA 80:8.\


/Ps 80:8

Thou didst remove a vine from Egypt;

Thou didst drive out the nations, and didst plant it. \


/In time Israel split into Israel and Judah and both of them turned from God to the world and false gods, JER 2:21.\


/JER 2:21

"Yet I planted you a choice vine,

A completely faithful seed.

How then have you turned yourself before Me

Into the degenerate shoots of a foreign vine? \


/In the prophet’s sad song of lamenting for Israel he reveals that God’s vineyard will become a wasteland, ISA 5:1-7.\


ISA 5:1 Let me sing now for my well-beloved

A song of my beloved concerning His vineyard.

My well-beloved had a vineyard on a fertile hill.


ISA 5:2And He dug it all around, removed its stones,

And planted it with the choicest vine.

And He built a tower in the middle of it,

And hewed out a wine vat in it;

Then He expected it to produce good grapes,

But it produced only worthless ones.


ISA 5:3"And now, O inhabitants of Jerusalem and men of Judah,

Judge between Me and My vineyard.


ISA 5:4"What more was there to do for My vineyard that I have not done in it?,

Why, when I expected it to produce good grapes did it produce worthless ones?


ISA 5:5"So now let Me tell you what I am going to do to My vineyard:

I will remove its hedge and it will be consumed;

I will break down its wall and it will become trampled ground.


ISA 5:6"And I will lay it waste;

It will not be pruned or hoed,,

But briars and thorns will come up.

I will also charge the clouds to rain no rain on it."


ISA 5:7For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,

And the men of Judah His delightful plant.,

Thus He looked for justice, but behold, bloodshed;,

For righteousness, but behold, a cry of distress.


/And finally, in our Lord’s parables it becomes clear that the destroyed vineyard will make way for a new vineyard given to another - the Church, Matt 21:28-46.\


In no way does this mean that the Church is now beneficiaries of the promises to Israel, or that in some way the Church has become Israel. It simply means that the privilege of fruit production has been taken from one and passed on to another. Israel will receive her promises at the Second Coming of Christ. 


Matt 21:28 "But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go work today in the vineyard.'


Matt 21:29"And he answered and said, 'I will, sir'; and he did not go.


Matt 21:30"And he came to the second and said the same thing. But he answered and said, 'I will not'; yet he afterward regretted it and went.


Matt 21:31"Which of the two did the will of his father?" They said, "The latter." Jesus said to them, "Truly I say to you that the tax-gatherers and harlots will get into the kingdom of God before you.


Matt 21:32"For John came to you in the way of righteousness and you did not believe him; but the tax-gatherers and harlots did believe him; and you, seeing this, did not even feel remorse afterward so as to believe him.


Matt 21:33"Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it and dug a wine press in it, and built a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers, and went on a journey. 


Matt 21:34"And when the harvest time approached, he sent his slaves to the vine-growers to receive his produce.


Matt 21:35"And the vine-growers took his slaves and beat one, and killed another, and stoned a third.


Matt 21:36"Again he sent another group of slaves larger than the first; and they did the same thing to them.


Matt 21:37"But afterward he sent his son to them, saying, 'They will respect my son.'


Matt 21:38"But when the vine-growers saw the son, they said among themselves, 'This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and seize his inheritance.'


Matt 21:39"And they took him, and threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him.


Matt 21:40"Therefore when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those vine-growers?" 


Matt 21:41They said to Him, "He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and will rent out the vineyard to other vine-growers, who will pay him the proceeds at the proper seasons."


Matt 21:42Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the Scriptures,

'The stone which the builders rejected,

This became the chief corner stone;

This came about from the Lord,

And it is marvelous in our eyes'?


After the Lord and the disciples sing the Hallel and begin to walk towards Gethsemane He launches into a new teaching about the vine. It is no coincidence.


Matt 21:43"Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you, and be given to a nation producing the fruit of it.


Matt 21:44"And he who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; but on whomever it falls, it will scatter him like dust." 


Matt 21:45And when the chief priests and the Pharisees heard His parables, they understood that He was speaking about them.


Matt 21:46And when they sought to seize Him, they feared the multitudes, because they held Him to be a prophet.


/Similar to the vine is the analogy of the olive tree. The vine represents Christ. The olive tree represents blessing from God through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.\


The vine and the olive tree do not represent the same thing, but there are some similarities.


ROM 11:16 And if the first piece of dough be holy, the lump is also; and if the root be holy, the branches are too.


ROM 11:17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive, were grafted in among them and became partaker with them of the rich root of the olive tree,


ROM 11:18 do not be arrogant toward the branches; but if you are arrogant, remember that it is not you who supports the root, but the root supports you.


ROM 11:19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in."


ROM 11:20 Quite right, they were broken off for their unbelief, but you stand by your faith. Do not be conceited, but fear;


ROM 11:21 for if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you.


ROM 11:22 Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God's kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off.


ROM 11:23 And they also, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in; for God is able to graft them in again.


ROM 11:24 For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more shall these who are the natural branches be grafted into their own olive tree?