Sermon: Jesus Bears Fruit Through his People (John 15:1–17)
In the allegory of the vine (John 15:1–17), Jesus continues to explain how he will continue completing his mission after his departure. To describe this work, Jesus uses the agricultural metaphor to describe himself as a vine that will bear much fruit in the world. The intriguing aspect of this allegory, though, is not so much in the fact that Jesus will bear much fruit in the world, for that fits with the thrust of the rest of the Gospel.
Instead, the surprising aspect of this allegory is that Jesus will not bear the fruit directly, but through his branches—that is, through his disciples. They will bear fruit through Jesus alone, and Jesus will bear fruit through them alone. The rest of the mission will depend on the fruit-bearing vitality of Jesus himself, but the rest of the mission will be carried out by the disciples and through the Holy Spirit. To this day, and until he returns, Jesus bears fruit through his people.