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
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.
- 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 –
already – ḗdē (a temporal adverb) – already now, referring to what is not yet strictly present but already impacts the present
are – eimi – I am, exist
clean – katharos – 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 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?
- 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.