John 15: 1-4

Where:  Jerusalem – they just arose from being in the Upper Room for…
When:  The Last Supper/First Lord’s Supper during Jesus’ last Passover and just before going to the Garden of Gethsemane to be betrayed
v1+: This continues the discussion of Jesus telling the disciples to not be fearful that He is leaving, because as they and any believer loves Him and keeps His commands, Jesus and the Father will abide with us (along with the Holy Spirit who is with us regardless of our obedience) and we will be able to do great works, such as exhibit love.
You explained the meaning of the word fruit well – as you say, in the Bible sometimes it refers to words and sometimes it refers to works and we have to determine which by the context.  Here it is the works that Jesus discussed in Chapter 14.
So we are the branches that receive our source of power from Jesus the vine.  The Father is the vinedresser Who deals with us according to what He sees that we need.
v2: I was taught that “He prunes it” is better translated as “He cleans it” (which is indeed given as the alternate translation in my NAS Bible).  So there are two classifications of branches:  those that do not bear fruit, which the vinedresser takes away; and those that do bear fruit, which the vinedresser cleans – or disciplines in order to stimulate growth – so that these branches may bear even more fruit.
Hmmm, there’s no classification of believer that does not receive some sort of discipline.  I don’t know why I’m always surprised to read that – I know it’s true that we’re to consider it all joy when we encounter various trials, and that we definitely will have trials to make us more Christ-like – however, some part of me must think there’s an escape clause.  But there’s not during this lifetime.
I guess it’s helpful to point out (I just looked this up in the dictionary) that “discipline” is not only “punishment for the sake of enforcing obedience and perfecting moral character,” BUT also “to train or develop by instruction and exercise, especially in self-control.”  So this is a good synonym for cleaning the vine because God allows trials to happen to people even when they’re not disobedient for the purpose of making us better vines.
v3: The alternate translation of “He cleans it” flows well with v. 3 when Jesus tells the 11 disciples that “You are already clean” – and He says that’s because of the word which He spoke to them.  So it appears that words are discipline for sensitive hearts.  His words pointed out their sin and pointed them to Jesus – and His word/Bible does that for us if we’re sensitive to Him.
v4 : So we have to be at home with/stay in fellowship with Jesus in order to have good works – seemingly good works are not fruit at all if they’re not done in His strength.

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