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
* "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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