What Does It Mean God Prunes Us?

The previous post addressed the first half of John 15:2 to show that Jesus DOES NOT cut off those who abide in Him if they don’t bear fruit. He actually lifts them up!

Now to the second half of verse two –

“…and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” (NKJV)

Check out the Greek to better understand –

and – ‘kaí’ – also, moreover, even, indeed

everyone  – pás – each, every, each part(s) of a totality (note: ‘branch’ is not specifically listed in the Greek translation)

fruit‘karpos’ –  fruit, result, gain

bearing – phérō – properly, to bear, carry (bring) along, especially temporarily or to a definite prescribed conclusion

he prunes‘kathairó’ – I cleanse, purify, prune; make clean by purging (removing undesirable elements)

that hína’for the purpose that (in order that), looking to the aim (intended result)

more ‘pleión’ – greater, more, of higher value

fruit (‘karpos’)

it bear (‘pheró’)

A paraphrase in light of the Greek   –

…moreover for those in Him bearing fruit He will cleanse or purge of any undesirable elements so they can bear even more fruit of higher value.

Okay, looks like the Vinedresser, Father God, has to do occasional cleansing in order to get more fruit from us. How do you think He prunes, Does the Vinedresser Pruneif this is indeed what He does? Some might say:

  • expose more sin in our lives
  • get us to repent more of our sins
  • feel more sorry (grieve more) for our sins
  • make a deeper commitment to obey Him
  • follow His commandments better
  • wants us to do more things to try and abide


What do we do with Jesus’ next statement?!

“You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (Jn 15:3)

Yikes! Did Jesus just contradict Himself?!

First He told us the Father prunes (cleanses) every branch that bears fruit, but then He tells us you are already cleansed! Does this mean He does not really prune us since we are already clean?

How can the disciples be already clean? For goodness sake, Jesus hasn’t even gone to the cross yet! In fact they have not even asked Him to be their Lord and Savior!

Here’s something to note:

  • prune (verse 2) is ‘kathairó’, which comes from katharos.
  • katharos is the word for clean (verse 3)!  Selah

Back to verse three – let’s elaborate a little more on the Greek words –

alreadyḗdē (a temporal adverb) – already now, referring to what is not yet strictly present but already impacts the present


are – eimi – I am, exist

cleankatharos – clean, pure, unstained, either literally or ceremonially or spiritually; guiltless, innocent, upright. what is separated (purged), hence “clean” (pure) because unmixed (without undesirable elements); (figuratively) spiritually clean because purged (purified by God), i.e. free from the contaminating (soiling) influences of sin.

because of diá (a preposition) – on account of, by reason of, for the sake of


word –  lógos (from 3004 /légō, “speaking to a conclusion”) – word, speech, divine utterance, being the expression of a thought; lógos (“word”) is preeminently used of Christ (Jn 1:1), expressing the thoughts of the Father through the Spirit, God’s logic.

that hos – who, which, what, that

I have spoken  – laleó – I speak, say

to you

To very loosely paraphrase Jesus:

Already now – even though it has not happened in the strictest sense, but what will happen has already impacted the present (because it actually happened before the foundation of the world –i.e. the lamb was slain) – you are clean. Let me help you understand this ‘already now’ a little more – Disciples, it is like when I said to the woman at the well – “an hour is coming and now is”. Okay back to already – already you are like Me – ‘I am’, you exist as I am  – in other words you are a reflection of Me, you are a reflection of My image. Thus I say you are already clean. And this is true because of the word (which is actually Me, the final word) that declares you are clean, innocent, guiltless, and without mixture.

Now some of you might get bent out of shape with my loosely paraphrased verse 3 because of the implications. That being, some might consider it heretical because it sounds like you don’t have to ask Jesus to cleanse you, get forgiven, be “born again”, get saved, etc.

Perhaps it is good to let this simmer (please don’t let it boil over) ;-), before we find out (in the next post) –

what was the word that Jesus had spoken to them – that already made them clean?

Dig In

  • What do you think it means to be pruned by God? Do you see it as hurting? Does it make you a little afraid of God, if that is what you think He does? Please know, He never ever wants to hurt us or make us afraid of Him.
  • Have you ever thought that Jesus would contradict Himself? If you did, have you ever considered how often we just might misunderstand what He is really saying because our religious filters contort who He really is?
  • Have you ever thought your understanding of His unconditional love and the cross might be too small? Have you ever considered that traditional western Christianity is what makes Him so small?! So to even consider that we might already be clean is just too far out there.

8 responses to “What Does It Mean God Prunes Us?

  1. Good insights and distinctions in both your posts on pruning here, bringing it into its proper context. I like how you pointed out we’re already clean. Yes, we are already His fully affirmed son/daughter. We are complete in Him and already perfect, though maybe not in our current experience. So the Father prunes back in order to make us more like Jesus and bear more fruit. What gets thrown out is not us, but that which is not who we really are in Christ.

    • Thanks Mel. Amen – the context is so important to get the Lord’s points! I’ve found that part of seeing the context clearly is realizing there is a pattern in Jesus’ points, and also realizing that religion had kept me from seeing those life-giving patterns of grace. Of course, the next step was getting free from religious influence that blinded me from the patterns found in Jesus’ points. 😉

      I agree, His ‘pruning’ has to do with maturing Jesus in us and throwing out what is not who we really are. Light bulb here – His pruning is more like removing lies! Lies about who we really are, lies about others, lies about God – which negatively effect our ‘current experiences’. To my delight, I’ve seen Him do this by revelation, and teaching that flows from revelation, regarding our true identity (that He established before time began). What a wondrous process to come into Truth and nothing but the truth. He is so faithful to displace those damaging lies that really do prevent us from bearing His fruit so freely. What an awesome God, who truly perfects what He began in each and every person! Yay God!

  2. Thank you so much for all your posts! God has guided me to your blog, and I feel like I am rediscovering again the beauty of His grace and unconditional love for me and other people. Yes it’s a time for rediscovering! 😀
    I want to abide in Him only, as He abides in me! How wonderful our Jesus is!!! Thanks again and God bless you! 😉

    • Blerta, you put a smile on my day! Thank you for your encouraging words. I am so delighted that you are rediscovering the ‘beyond religion’ richer fullness of His eternal love for you and for all mankind. Abiding in Him is such a restful dynamic, yet overflowing with incredible animated joy. May you continue to draw deep from the wellspring inside of you and let it splash all over those around you. Bliss, Nancy

  3. i had a dream about me dragging branches away from trees! i believe i am at a point of god pruning me and bringing out frustration and self forgiveness! this process is essential but also can be difficult at times. although it is a blessing to know i am moving forward! thank you lord jesus! amen!

    • How exciting Frank that you can see the Lord bringing more freedom to you! When I read the abbreviated description of your dream, Is 61:1-3 came to mind. A sense that the ‘branches’ of guilt, other’s expectations and requirements, and regrets are being removed. He wants you to see the real you – an oak of righteousness, a planting of the Lord. That is who you truly are! He is removing all the lies. Yay God! And He is delightfully shouting – “Yay Frank!”

  4. great experience I encounterd here all thanks to God.

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