I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. John 15:5, 8
Language lesson! This morning I focus on the verb “abide” in verse 5. The Greek word μένων (menōn) is an active verb that means to stay, abide, or remain. In Greek, like English, modifiers help explain the situation. They can be “comparative,” which means comparing two, or “superlative,” which places the subject in a group to establish the degree. Below are examples so you can see the differences.
- Comparative: The Patriots have been playing “better” than the Texans.
- Superlative: The Patriots are “not the best” team in the AFC.
In the case of our scripture today, the “abiding” is rendered in the superlative. It indicates that disciples are not to remain, stay, and abide in Christ in a better way than the next person, but they are to surpass all others in their abiding. Jesus is raising the bar!
We must step up our game to be the fruit of his vine. This way, our Father in Heaven is glorified, and others will see and follow. This an excellent lesson to reflect upon in the Advent season and beyond.