Jesus Vine

Jesus replaces Israel as the Vine

Series: In Pursuit of Relational knowledge

Our ongoing study in John 15 is helping us better understand how to properly receive the message of the Kingdom in our hearts. This is so we can do things ON PURPOSE to facilitate knowing Jesus in intimate and fruitfulfulness.

This week instead of pressing forward, we examined where Jesus likely drew this analogy of a vine and branches. It has its roots in Israel from when God first delivered them from Egypt and “planted them as a choice vine” in the promised land. Israel however, never really produced mature and good fruit.

As such Jesus took this illustrative metaphor for Israel and restated it with Himself being the Vine and all who were in the Kingdom… who follow Him in devotion as branches which faithfully produce fruit.

Before returning to John 15, we read the end of John 14 which introduces the Holy Spirit at the One Who facilitates this union.

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Remain Vine Branch

Remain in Me

Series: In Pursuit of Relational Knowledge

The good heart has attributes the others lack and that makes it a heart which will produce fruit.

• It understands the message of the kingdom.
• It sees the deep value of knowing Jesus in true intimacy and surrenders to that union within His kingdom.

Because of the value this heart places on Jesus, satan seeks to desuade this heart from it’s loyalty through persecution, temptation and being hated even by those they love.

This has a COMPLETELY NON-RELIGIOUS response. This heart, instead of growing distant and cold, draws all the closer to Jesus during times of opposition and it is due to the love and value of Him that they endure.

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What God has done / What God will do

Thru the Bible: Zechariah 11

God employs the use of two shepherd staffs to illustrate two covenants. One was called Favor and the other Union.

Favor was the shepherd staff which represented the old covenant – in particular the ark of the covenant which was taken by Nebuchadnezzar at the time of the temple’s destruction and never returned.

The second shepherd staff was Union. It represented Jesus Himself. In Jesus the union between greater Israel and Judah would be broken but a new and better covenant would be instituted. It would be an eternal covenant based upon better promises where the union would be with God directly and would result in union between each other and all in the world who would turn to Messiah in faith.

The prophecy ends with a dark note, which I believe is in reference to the change in the priesthood following the Maccabean revolt.

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Good Heart Parable

The Good Heart

Series: In Pursuit of Relational Knowledge

Parable of the Heart Soils

What makes the ‘Good heart’… good?

First, it is incline to understand the message of the kingdom – that it requires surrender to the King of the Kingdom and that for now all who belong to the Kingdom of God will suffer persecution, temptation and hatred.

God offers the Good Heart this understanding because BEFORE the message of the kingdom was planted there it was already worshipping God to the degree that it understood how (consider Cornelius and Lydia).

The other primary attribute of this heart is that even though it knew the cost of entering the kingdom it welcomed the message, clung to the king of the kingdom and through patient endurance it produced the fruit of conformity to Jesus’ likeness over time.

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Thorny Heart Darwin

The Thorny Heart Pt. 3: Darwin’s Thorn

Series: In Pursuit of Relational Knowledge

The Thorny Heart Pt. 3

When it comes to the Thorny Heart, the thorns were already present before the message of the Kingdom was sown there. These “thorns” choke out and starve the seed of the Kingdom in the human heart so that it bears no fruit unto God.

This week we addressed the desire for other things entering in and choking the Word.

As I was preparing for this lesson my years of teaching Creation and Evolution made me think of Darwin and the “thorns” which led to his eventual agnostic views and rejection of the gospel. It serves as a poignant warning for anyone in the world’s battle for the heart against the inroads of the Kingdom of God.

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