John, the first century eye-witness biographer of Jesus of Nazareth is continuing to recall the evening before his AD 30 crucifixion in Jerusalem. Earlier Scriptures, before Jesus came, had referred to the people of Israel as the vine (the family tree) of the LORD God bringing their promised Messiah.
Now Jesus teaches that he is the true vine. Offshoots of him are cleansed by the grower through him. They, as offshoots of him, are to bring fruit in him.
“Stay in me! I also in you. Just as the offshoot is not able to bring fruit from itself if it may not stay in the vine, so not you, unless you may stay in me. I myself am the vine; you the offshoots.”
Jesus indicates what is to be their part in the plan of father and son to bless some human beings into eternity. They are to “stay” in him, to dwell in him, to abide in him. Also, he in them. He is the vine. Those who believe into him are offshoots of him to bring fruit. Is that how Jersey Christians see themselves?
“The one staying in me - also I in that person—that one brings more fruit, in that apart from me you are not able to do anything. If someone may not stay in me, that one is put outside like an offshoot, and is withered, and they gather these and they put them into the fire, and they are burned.”
What is this “much fruit”? Given that Jesus himself is the vine, maybe it is best to interpret what he means by “fruit” by reference to human beings who become like him. Does the fruit brought into the vine actively demonstrate the being and nature and life of Jesus, his righteousness and his abundant mercy? “Much fruit” may not be how many but how much resembling the vine.