A friend of mine has challenged me to join in him in blogging his bible studies.
I'm taking him up on his challenge, starting, as he suggested with John 15.
"I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener."
The first thing that jumps out at me in this verse are the words 'I Am'. They make me think back to Moses and the burning bush where Moses asks God 'Who should I say has sent me'? To which God replies "Tell them 'I AM' has sent you". Now I'm sure that the two words 'I am' were spoken regularly in Jesus' day, as they are now, but I does give us a reminder of Christ's deity. John's gospel picks up on this "I Am" theme by including 7 different times when Jesus says 'I Am'.
1. “I am the bread of life” (6:35)
2. “I am the light of the world” (8:12; 9:5)
3. “I am the door” (10:7, 9)
4. “I am the good shepherd” (10:11)
5. “I am the resurrection and the life” (11:25)
6. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (14:6)
7. “I am the true vine” (15:1)
Just as the words 'I am' were significant in that they signify Jesus deity, the vine is also suggestive. Throughout the old testament, prophets used the image of a vine to describe Israel, the chosen people of God. By saying He is the 'True' vine Jesus is really saying that only those in him are truly children of God. You are not a child of God by growing your own vine, nor by being a branch of the right pedigree, only by being connected as a branch of Jesus, the True vine do we really become Sons or Daughter of God.
Well that's all I've got time to write for now, but will write again tomorrow. Please feel free to comment on what I've written here, I'd love to discuss it with you all. Especially in how we can get truly connected with the 'True Vine'...
 - I have heard that the Greek for this is a emphatic (or forceful/notable) construction, suggesting that perhaps Jesus is saying this in a more meaningful that I might say "I am 23 years old"
 - Dunnett, W. M. 2001. Exploring the New Testament. Originally published: New Testament survey. Wheaton, Ill. : Evangelical Teacher Training Association, c1963, in series: Broadening your biblical horizons. Crossway Books: Wheaton, Ill.