John 15:4, 5 - You Can Do Nothing Without Me.

John 15:4, 5 - You Can Do Nothing Without Me. 

John 15:4, 5 (KJV)  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch 
cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can 
ye, except ye abide in me.  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He 
that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: 
for without me ye can do nothing. 

John 15:4, 5 (TEV)  Remain united to me, and I will remain 
united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only 
if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit 
unless you remain in me.  "I am the vine, and you are the branches. 
Those who remain in me, and I in them, will bear much fruit; for you 
can do nothing without me.  

CONTEXT: The Vine and the Branches: John 15:1-17.

The Seven I AM Statements Of John's Gospel
  One of the distinctives of the Gospel of John is its series of 
"I am" sayings of Jesus. Their significance is underlined in 8:58, 
in which Jesus announces that "before Abraham was born, I am!" His 
hearers understood the implicit claim, for they knew full well that "I 
am" is the Greek equivalent of YHWH, Yahweh, the revelatory and 
personal name of God that vitalizes the Old Testament. What are the "I 
am" statements in John, and how do they display the deity that Jesus 
*	"I am the bread of life" (6:35). Jesus is the One who sustains 
physical and spiritual life. 
*	"I am the Light of the World" (8:12). Jesus is the source of 
spiritual enlightenment. 
*	"I am the Gate for the sheep" (10:7). Jesus provides access to 
God and salvation. 
*	"I am the Good Shepherd" (10:11). Jesus lays down His life for 
us, His sheep. 
*	"I am the Resurrection and the Life" (11:25). Jesus is the 
source and giver of life eternal. 
*	"I am the Way and the Truth and the Life" (14:6). Jesus alone 
provides access to God the Father and all of the Father's good 
gifts to humankind.  
*	"I am" the true vine (15:1). Jesus is the source of spiritual 
vitality. By remaining close to Him we are enabled to bring 
forth fruit and so glorify God. [Victor Bible Background Commentary 

Most translations are literal, maintaining the imagery either of 
"living in" or "abiding in." The meaning is essentially that of  "to live in fellowship/union with". Since the spatial concept of 
one person living in another person may be difficult, it is better 
to follow TEV and translate "remain united with me." (UBS 
Translator Handbook Series) 

  "Remain in Me" John 15:4-9. The KJV says, "Abide in Me." The 
same point is made by both words: live in intimate union with Jesus. 
  The analogy itself tells us why. A branch draws its vital 
juices from the vine to which it is united. In the same way we draw the 
spiritual vitality that enables us to produce fruit from Jesus. Thus Jesus 
says clearly, "Apart from Me you can do nothing." 
  The Christian life is a supernatural life, flowing from Jesus 
to us. It can be experienced only as we live in intimate fellowship 
with our LORD. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

APPLICATION COMMENTARY with emphasis on verse 4, 5.

  When I was a new Christian, my pastor encouraged me to 
memorize portions of Scripture. This seemed like an impossible task. The 
Bible as a whole can be intimidating, and I wasn't sure where to 
start. I had been told to open to the New Testament, and I had also 
been told that the Gospel of John is a good place for beginners. 
  In chapter 15, the last few words of one particular verse 
stood out. It wasn't that they were lofty or spiritual, but they were 
surprising. They made a claim that I needed to weigh. Speaking to his 
disciples at the Last Supper, Jesus said, "Apart from me you can do 
nothing." Nothing? I can do nothing without him? I didn't understand. 
Millions of people on the planet were doing things every day, and yet 
they had no awareness of or connection to Jesus. I needed to know why 
Jesus would make a claim like that. So I chose to memorize John 
  I read it every day until one day I finally got it, and I 
cried deep, soul-satisfying tears. It's true: I can do nothing without 
you, Jesus. Everything I have ever done before I knew you and 
everything I try to do without you add up to nothing. The only things that 
have meaning are done with you and in your name and for you. 
  I have been saved fifteen years now, and this verse is still 
my favorite. I come back to it time and again to keep myself in him 
and to remember that I am nothing without him. 
  Oline Stehr is a homemaker, a wife, and the mother of three. 
[The One Year Bible Live Verse Devotional] 

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