John 15:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

John 15:1, NIV: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener."

John 15:1, ESV: "“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser."

John 15:1, KJV: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman."

John 15:1, NASB: "'I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser."

John 15:1, NLT: "'I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener."

John 15:1, CSB: ""I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener."

What does John 15:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This is the seventh of seven times in the gospel of John where Jesus uses the "I Am" terminology. The phrasing echoes God's words to Moses when speaking from the burning bush (Exodus 3:14). As with the other "I Am" comments (John 6:35; 8:12; 10:7–9, 11; 11:25; 14:6), Jesus not only makes a subtle claim to divinity, He reveals a crucial aspect of how God relates to mankind.

Metaphors for vine and vineyards are common in the Bible for a reason. Most people would have been familiar with the process of growing and tending grape vines. The disciples, being Jewish, would have recognized references to vines from the Old Testament. Jeremiah 2:21, for instance, compares the nation of Israel to a vine that was planted but then turned wild. Passages such as Ezekiel 15, Isaiah 5:1–7, and Hosea 10:1 continue this analogy.

As Jesus introduces this symbolism, He evokes Old Testament ideas of God as a "vinedresser," relating to His people much the same way someone might grow and nurture a plant in their garden or farm. That process includes things like pruning and removal of dead or diseased branches (John 15:2).