I AM The True VineSeries: The I AM's of Jesus
The cultivation of the grape vine is a part of Jewish life throughout Bible times. Unlike cutting down a crop like wheat each season, the cultivated grape vine produces fruit year after year. Painstaking effort is needed to produce quality fruit. Typically, for the first three years, vines produce no fruit. Racks suspend the vines so the fruit does not touch the ground. Pruning is an annual event done to keep the nourishment concentrated in the fruit. The grape is used as a source of food, but more importantly, to make a beverage to add flavor to and kill the germs in the groundwater. It is a life-source to the people of the land.
God uses the figure of the vine to teach Israel some valuable spiritual lessons. Jesus uses this figure to help us understand our relationship with Him and His relationship with us. Specifically, in John 15, Jesus is preparing His apostles for His return to Heaven and their responsibility to continue His work. The connection between Jesus and His apostles/disciples is crucial for fruit to be produced.