John 15:5; Who, What, When, Where, Why?


As I’ve said in my earlier posts this week, Abiding in Jesus and How I Write a Kids’ Bible Talk, I am writing a Kids’ bible talk on John 15:5, and you, lucky things, are helping me organise my thoughts! Thank you.

Today I am tackling a couple of Steps in the process I discussed yesterday in How I Write a Kids’ Bible Talk;

Step 2

  • Read the appropriate section of the bible (in a couple of different translations, or study the Greek or Hebrew words if you think that might help your understanding)

John 15:5 NIV

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:5 MSG

5“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.

John 15:5 KJV

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

John 15:5 ESV

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.

Note any helpful differences in translation;

  • Abides in – remains in – joined with; the relation intimate and organic
  • Will bear much fruit – the harvest is sure to be abundant – bringeth forth much fruit
  • You can do (produce) nothing; apart from me, separated from me, without me

Step 3

  • Study the context of the verse in the bible; who said it? to whom? when? why?where? Discover anything that I don’t know about the words, historical info and their definition. These can be googled easily on your phone today (unlike 15 years ago!).

Context – John 15 is at the pointy end for Jesus, he has been predicting his own death and prepping his disciples for it since chapter 12, when he was anointed for burial by Mary at Bethany, the home town of Lazarus who had been raised from the dead by Jesus. Jesus at this time was facing plots to kill him, alongside belief and unbelief among the people.

When he spoke the words we are studying today, he was with his faithful disciples, the eleven, his betrayer had already slipped into the night to betray him. He had washed their feet, broken bread, predicted Peter’s denial, comforted his disciples, told them he was the only way to the Father.

Jesus had just told them not to be afraid, assured them he must go to the Father and that he would come back. He promised to send the Holy Spirit in his place to teach them and bring them peace.

In the last words of John 14, Jesus says, “Come, let us leave,” but it is not until the beginning of John 18 that the group actually leave. So this conversation takes place during the time of preparing to leave and leaving the Passover meal which they have shared in the upper room.

Who said it? Jesus

To whom? to his eleven faithful disciples

When? On the night of the Passover meal. During the Passover festival.

Why? Jesus was preparing his disciples. He knew they would be scattered and devastated by his death. He wanted them to remain in him.

Where? In Jerusalem. On their way out of their last supper together (the passover meal) in an upper room. They were heading towards the garden in which Jesus would be betrayed and arrested.

Did you already know all this? I’d honestly forgotten the context of John 15:5. Knowing it makes the message so much more powerful and pressing. I am very encouraged to rediscover it.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the analogy of the vine and the branches. On Saturday we’ll explore bearing fruit.

I hope you’re encouraged and blessed by this study today, thanks for doing it with me!

Lots of love,


© Lauren Macdonald. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission, from this blog’s author, is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Lauren Macdonald @

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