Jesus got up from the table and went over to the window. From the upper room, in full moonlight he could see rows of grapevines across the Kidron Valley on the Mount of Olives. They would soon sprout new leaves and bud, producing a bountiful new vintage.
He used this metaphor to illustrate the union of Christ with his church and bearing fruit in the Kingdom of God. “I am the True Vine and my Father owns the vineyard. Dwell in me, as I in you. No branch can bear fruit in itself unless it remains united with the vine. In the same way, you cannot bear fruit unless you remain united with me. I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who remain in me and I in them will yield an abundant harvest.
“If you abide in me and allow my words to govern your prayer life, you may ask for anything you want and have it, for this is how the glory of my Father is to be revealed. In so doing, you will become true disciples and bear much fruit.
“I love you precisely the same way the Father loves me, so dwell in my love. I have spoken to you in this way so that my joy may be in you, and your joy complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I have loved you. There is no greater love than this, that someone should lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends, for I have disclosed to you everything that I have heard from the Father. You did not choose me; I chose you. I have appointed you to the task of reaching forth and bearing fruit that will last, so that the Father may give you whatever you ask in my name.
“I have chosen you out of the world and now you do not belong to it. Remember what I said, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. I have told you all this to guard you against breakdown of your faith. There is much more I could say, but the burden would be too great for you now.”