Hey everyone, it's Thursday, March the 16th. I'm Ryan Hill.
I'm John Galantis. And you're listening to Clearview Today with Dr. Abbadon Shah, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearviewTodayShow.com. If you have any questions for Dr. Shah or suggestions for future episodes, send us a text at 252-582-5028. You can also email us at contact at ClearviewTodayShow.com. That's right. You guys can help us keep this conversation going by supporting this podcast, sharing it online, leaving us a good review on iTunes.
We're going to leave a link in the description of this podcast so you can do just that. We're going to help you set you up for success, that's hard to say, so that you can set us up for success. But before we do anything else, I think it's time for the verse of the day. Time for the verse of the day. The verse of the day today comes from John chapter 15, verse 5. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me and I in him bears much fruit.
For without me, you can do nothing. Yeah. And when we think about nature, that's perfectly understood. It's natural. That's just without the vine, the branch can't do anything. Can't survive.
Yeah. But with Christian life, it has to be cultivated. Because of sin, because of the fall, we have to learn how to commune with Jesus.
That's crazy, because that's something that was designed to be natural. It's something that was designed to just happen as a result of his goodness and his provision in our lives. But now, because of sin, it requires worship, and it requires prayer and it requires service, and it requires devotion to his word. Yeah. When we feel echoes of that, we've all felt, if you're a believer, if you've been in church or if you've been walking with God for a number of years, you feel those times in your life where you are close to God. That's right.
That's the thing. God doesn't change. God doesn't move.
He is constant. We are the ones who move away from him through whatever circumstances in life. But because our sin nature, that's our new natural.
Yep. But when we have those moments of closeness to God, it feels like, oh yeah, this is what it's supposed to be like. This is how I'm supposed to function.
So you get those little glimpses here and there. We're going to chat more about that today. We bring Dr. Shaw in.
That's right. We're on the end of our mini-series talking about the seven I am statements. And this is a series that when Dr. Shaw preached it not very long ago, and I think going back and talking through it in more detail on the radio show has helped me because these I am statements are very, very intentional in the book of John.
We see that kind of played out in the context that he gave all these statements. And like Ryan said, we're going to bring Dr. Shaw in a little bit and talk more about that. But before we do, I want to ask you something I asked Ellie the other day. I saw this question online and I thought it was kind of cool.
So I asked Ellie and we had a cool talk about it. What would you rather lose? You lose all your money or all your photos?
Which do you think is worse? Because I can tell you from my perspective, I used to believe that photos weren't super important. But now that I have kids, the thought of losing all my photos of the baby, like my two sons, I don't know if I could do it. I think I would rather lose all my money. If I have like $5,000 here and I lose it and I get another $5,000, I don't miss the $5,000 I had. Like I, I, that, that money wasn't important.
It was just the function that it provided. Whereas if I take, if I lose all my photos and take more photos, well, I'll never get those photos back. Yeah. I think that's a great point because you know, before I had kids when I was younger, I was like, yeah, I mean, who cares about pictures?
It doesn't matter to me. I have those memories. I've had those experiences. I can hold onto those memories.
I don't need a physical like thing to hold onto or like a file on my phone. But now I'm like, I can't imagine losing those snapshots of my kids because it really is true. They grow and change so quickly. When I was, when I was working here and this is, this is his background in journalism too. But when I first started working here, Dr. Shaw was very, it still is very like, Hey, make sure you get pictures.
Let's get pictures of everything that we do. And I didn't value it back then. I didn't care. I was like, yeah, that's fine. We can get pictures. But it wasn't, I was at, I was like, why are we so insistent on getting pictures? And he told me, he said, when you have kids, you'll understand.
And I was like, okay, yeah, sure. And then the more I grew up, I started, you know, seeing, okay, I sort of see the value of having these pictures, but even then, like you said, I'm going to have these memories. I don't, I don't need to have the pictures. Now that the two boys are here and I see the pictures, like I'm like, Oh yeah, if I lost these, I'd be kind of upset. It would be, it would be devastating. Which is, I mean, now you have services like the cloud and things you can back up your files and all that kind of stuff. But if whatever happens, if there's some catastrophe and it wipes all of that out, man, that would, that would be, that would be devastating.
I think I'd, yeah, I think I would rather lose all my money, but what do you guys say? Maybe send us a text and let us know, let us know. And if you're, if you're bold, let us know your age. Yeah. Yeah.
That's true. I would like to know your life stage. Like if you're, if I was 17, I'd be like, I don't care about pictures. Give me the money. Yeah. Give me, I just keep my money safe.
Send us your age. Cause I'm kind of curious to see where we fall on that. Do a little research project of our own. I got a question coming in from Patrick G. This is a good one.
I'm excited to let Dr. Shaw here. This one, why does John mean the Gospel of John have its own category in the gospels? And in parentheses he wrote synoptic gospels. Oh, like you got Matthew, Mark and Luke, but then we have this other category for John. So we almost have to put the others in a category that just means it's not John. Yeah.
Well there's a lot of people who've had problems with that. Like these three read very similarly. This one doesn't.
How do we know, like, is that one meant to be included or is it like, because it's a gospel account, that's totally different. Yeah. I mean, what do we do with that? Yeah. But to hear the answer, you got to stick around to the end of the episode. That's right. We're going to get Dr. Sean in just a second, but if you have any questions or suggestions for new topics, send us a text to two five two five eight two five zero two eight or visit us online at clearviewtodayshow.com.
We'll be back after this. That is his weekly podcast series, Sermons by Abaddon Shaw, PhD. One of the four core values of Clearview Church is that we're a Bible believing church. So every sermon is coming directly from scripture, which is great because that guarantees that there are timeless truths that are constantly applicable to our lives. This is a great resource because whether you're driving, whether you're cleaning the house, whether you're working out, you can always benefit from hearing the word of God spoken into your life. And God's word is always going to do something new for you every time you hear it.
Sometimes it's conviction and sometimes it's encouragement. But know that every time you listen to God's word, you're inviting the Holy Spirit to move and work in your life. You guys can check out the Sermons by Abaddon Shaw, PhD podcast. First and foremost, check it out on our church app. That's the Clearview app. You can get that in the Google Play Store. You can get that on iTunes, but you can also find the podcast on the Apple podcast app or on our website at clearviewbc.org. And listen, if you've got a little extra time on your hands, you just want to do some further reading, you can also read the transcripts of those sermons.
Those are available on Dr. Shaw's website, AbaddonShaw.com. And we're going to leave you guys a little link in the description so you can follow it. But for right now, David, let's hop back in.
All right. Welcome back to Clear View Today with Dr. Abaddon Shaw, the daily show that engages mind and heart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. You can visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com. If you have any questions or suggestions, make sure you send us a text at 252-582-5028. That's right.
If you're joining us for the very first time today, we want to let you know who's talking to you. Dr. Abaddon Shaw is a PhD in New Testament textual criticism, professor at Carolina University, author, full-time pastor, and the host of today's episode. You can find all his work on his website. That's AbaddonShaw.com.
That's right. Dr. Shaw's with us in the studio today. How are you doing today, Dr. Shaw? I'm doing well. It's good to be here again. I'm in. Happy Thursday.
Yes. Happy Thursday. Happy Thursday. Thursday is one of those weird days that doesn't get a lot of love. Yeah, it's just kind of a in-between day. We've got Taco Tuesday, Hump Day, Garfield Hake Sunday. And, of course, Friday, but Thursday's just kind of there. It's like the middle child of the week. Yeah. Yeah.
Well, today we're continuing our series. We've been talking about the I Am statements of Jesus through the gospel of John. You deal with things like Jesus saying, I am the good shepherd. I am the door for the sheep. Today we're talking about Jesus saying that he is the true vine, and with that, what it means to truly abide in Christ.
I feel like it's a buzzword that we have a lot in church, and we use it sometimes without even really understanding what that word means. That's right. Well, Roanoke Island or Manio is also known for something else.
It's known for the oldest vine in North America. Really? Yeah. I didn't know that.
Yeah. It is known as the mother vine. Think about how many thousands of people came through, took advantage of the muscadine or scuppernongs on those vines. I mean, some people even say the Croatan Indians planted the vine, right? Or maybe even the settlers planted the vine. But think about how much impact it's had for so long, but compare that with Jesus being the true vine.
How many millions and billions of people have taken advantage of that? And it's a whole different kind of vine compared to this vine, right? The vine that Jesus is supplies us with life, supplies us with fruits, supplies us with all the nutrients we need to bear fruits for the kingdom of God, right? And we'll hopefully learn that the fruits are not the fruit of the spirit. The fruits are souls, lost souls that come to know Christ. I think that's one thing that has kind of impacted me going through these I Am statements, and I appreciate that we're going through them with a biblical scholar like you, because there's just obvious imagery that comes to mind like, oh, the true vine.
I really need to think about this in terms of horticulture or something, or I need to understand gardening or how this happens. Or even like you said, these are fruits that we're producing. Oh, I've heard of the fruits of the spirit. They must be the same thing. And it's a trap that I've fallen into that if the Bible uses imagery and it uses that same imagery somewhere else, then it must be talking about the same thing.
Right. It was a way of studying the Bible on a very shallow level. It's a good way to study. At least people are studying the Bible. But when you begin to truly understand the literary, grammatical, historical, theological interpretation of scripture, it is so much more than that.
So let's back up for a moment. Think about this entire I Am the True Vine from John 15 was spoken in the context of Jesus's farewell discourse. As he's about to leave the disciples, he speaks to them. And from John 13 through 17, it's his farewell discourse. And it sort of begins on a dark note when Jesus tells his disciples that one of them will betray him. And then of course, the murmur begins, is it I?
Is it I? And Jesus even gives a piece of bread to who? To Judas. To Judas and says, to whom I give is the one. And they're still like, who is it though? I wonder why he gave Judas that bread.
Maybe he's just hungry for me. Yeah. And then Jesus even says something like, you know, what you do do quickly. And he gets up and leaves and they're like, do you think it might have been?
I think he's coming back. Yeah. I think he had to go do something that Jesus wanted him to do. For all of the moments where the disciples are like these shining examples of like faith and just kind of on track with Jesus and supporting him.
There are some moments that I'm like, y'all like. Yeah. For what happened there, you know, and, but there's a lesson there that the lesson was this. Judas was connected to Jesus. I mean, he was near Jesus, but he was never truly connected to Jesus. And looks can be deceiving. And, and the disciples naivety or their innocence is reflective of the fact that people can fool us into thinking that they are believers because they hang around church, they hang around Christianity, but they are never connected to Christ. Wow. And this is, these are not branches that are really connected and bearing fruits and having life flow through them.
They just, they're just there. So when the gardener comes by, he just takes them up and throws them in the fire. Where did Judas go? He went into hell fire. You know, he never truly received Christ as his savior. He was there probably for some opportune time to, I don't know, become second in command in his mind or handle the treasury because he was already taking care of their little money bucket.
Not sure what he was up to, but it wasn't good. He wanted to take advantage of Jesus. That's such a chilling context. I mean, you think about this language, like I'm the true vine. It seems, seems sort of bright and warm and Jesus is having this object lesson with his disciples. But when you think about it in light of who Judas was, what he was doing, and what Jesus has already said about somebody betraying him, I mean, it's much more dark undertones.
It is. You think about like the fruit of the vine being likened to his blood. I mean, if the fruit of the vine is like the, what's in the cup and it's likened to his blood, that blood is going to come through death and through betrayal. I like something that you said, Dr. Shaw. I don't, I don't know if we said it on mic or on the podcast, but we said it for sure in, in, in, you know, just talking, I think you said in your sermon too, is that when he had gone, Jesus said, now the son of man is glorified. He wants, it wasn't just, Hey, now I can come do what I have to do. Or now the mission truly begins.
It's now that he's gone, the son of man is glorified. Right. There's a lot of weight in that.
There's a lot of weight. I mean, we see that in a church context as well. But going back to the true vine, what did Jesus imply or what did he, what, what was he trying to teach the disciples and us when he said, I'm the true vine? Well, if you back up for a moment and just think about all the times in the Old Testament, Israel was called the vineyard of God or the vine of God. In Psalm 80, it says, you have brought a vine out of Egypt. You have cast out the nations and planted it. And the vineyard, which your right hand has planted in the branch that you made strong for yourself is burned with fire.
It is cut down. They perish at the rebuke of your countenance. And then Hosea chapter 10, Israel empties his vine. He brings forth fruit for himself. According to the multitude of his fruit, he has increased the altars.
But then it goes on talks about how their heart is divided and now they are held guilty. He will break down their altars. He will ruin their sacred pillars. So also Isaiah chapter five, verse one, my beloved has a vineyard on a very fruitful Hill. He dug it up, cleared out its stones, planted it with a choicest vine.
That's Israel. He built a tower in its midst and also made a vine press in it. He expected to bring forth good grapes, but it brought forth wild grapes and on and on. It's odd because it seems like them being the vine should be a good thing.
This shouldn't be like a good, positive imagery, but it keeps highlighting their failure, right? It's also prophesied there. You know, there's a sense of prophecy going on. Yeah. Yeah. Jeremiah 2 21, yet I had planted you a noble vine is seed of highest quality.
How then have you turned before me into the degenerate plant of an alien vine? Wow. Isn't that crazy? Wow. That's harsh language. Yeah. I planted you and he calls them a degenerate plant of an alien vines. I mean, it's foreign, something that doesn't belong.
That's rough. You were supposed to be noble, a seed of highest quality, and yet you became this. And so also Ezekiel 15, it says, like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel. So I will give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem.
You know, so I can go on and on. The point is there's this vine imagery was to highlight the failure of Israel to be God's vine. Now let's go back to that night. He's in the upper room. He says, let's go, but then they keep talking. And then finally in chapter 18, I think it's verse one, it says, and then they left from there and they went out, which means that he kept talking about the vine vineyard, the true vine, somewhere from the upper room through the streets of Jerusalem, more than likely past the temple, down the Kidron Valley into Gethsemane. I mean, that's the route he would have taken because, you know, you've been to Israel with me, John, you've been to the upper room and, you know, upper room sits on Mount Zion, the location, right? And so for you to get from the upper room to the garden of Gethsemane, you had to go past the temple. And then go down the Kidron Valley to the gates, you know, go down Kidron Valley, cross the Brook Kidron, and then go up Gethsemane.
So if he did that, then there are several options we have that would help us understand why this imagery would have hit him, hit him hard. One is, when you would see that temple, okay, looking at the temple, immediately your eyes would have been drawn to the pillars that had this beautiful gold vine wrapped around it, made out of pure gold. And the Mishnah tells us, Mishnah Medot 3.8, a golden vine stood over the entrance to the sanctuary, trained over a post, and whosoever gave a leaf or a berry or a cluster as a free will offering, he brought it and the priest hung it thereon. So imagine this beautiful gold vine with massive clusters of grapes hanging from them, wrapped around the pillars of the temple, around the lintels of the temple.
Why did they do that? You know, and Josephus talks about it as well. Why did they make this massive golden vine? Because Israel was the vineyard of God. So that vine was supposed to symbolize Israel. So it makes sense that as they're walking down there, Jesus would look at it, and you can kind of see like he's looking at all this stuff and he's ruminating for a minute, knowing what he's about to go through. And then he turns to the disciples and he says, you know, I'm the true vine. Like this temple is great. And it's a testament to God's presence among his people. But at the end of the day, there's only one true vine. Yeah.
Israel has failed, but I'm the one. And you can just imagine if it was a moonlit night, those golden vines were probably shining like they're on fire. Just sparkling, glinting off the golden leaves. Wow.
That's a beautiful picture. Or it could have been as he's going down the Kidron Valley, archaeologists have found evidence of vineyards. Maybe he stopped there and said, stop right here for a second. And in the light of the moon, he would have said, you know, see this vineyard right here? Israel was supposed to be the one, but I am the true vine. And you are the branches. We don't know where the object lesson was taken from, but definitely it had to do with Israel. Yeah.
Lots of opportunities on the way for him to display here. See this vine, see this vine. I'm the true vine. That's right. That's right. And I don't misunderstand. God is still working with Israel. His purpose is still going to prevail, but we don't have to go through Israel to get to Jesus. Cause that's, that was the plan of salvation prior to the coming of Jesus. People say, you know, how do you, how do people get saved back then? Did they just like do good works? Because there are passages that may seem like that. Taken out of context, it seemed like as long as you were a good person and believed in a generic one God, then you're saved. It is funny how people write off Israel that way because they failed.
It's like, I fail every day. God's not done with me. He's not going to write me out of the story. He promised to never do that. But for his people, his chosen people, people are so willing to say, well, they failed. So they're, they're done. Even throughout Israel's failures that are outlined in the Bible, God still refers to them as his chosen people, his children, the children of Israel.
I mean, just because they mess up, just because our kids mess up, we don't like, you know, Hey, when you're disobedient to God, is he going to write you off and find some other new plan of salvation, someone else to work through? Yeah, yeah, exactly. So, you know, I just want to clarify that. But then going back to the vine and vineyard imagery, people often think, you know, when Jesus said, I'm the true vine, you're the branches. And then he says, my father is the vine dresser. They think that the vine, you know, is going to bear fruits of the Spirit.
Okay. So to go back to the true meaning of that, you have to kind of go back and think about what was Israel supposed to bear. If Israel was the vineyard of God, going back to that passage, that truth, think about Jeremiah 5, verse 10, go up on our walls and destroy, but do not make a complete end.
Take away her branches for they are not the Lord's. For the house of Israel and the house of Judah have dealt treacherously, very treacherously with me, says the Lord. They have lied about the Lord and said, it is not he, neither will evil come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine. And the prophets became, become when? For the word is not in them, thus it shall be done to them.
And then Ezekiel chapter 17 and chapter 19. Y'all want to read those passages? Sure.
I'll do, I'll do 17. Okay. Start in verse six. It says, and it grew and became a spreading vine of low stature. Its branches turned towards him, but its roots were under it. So it became a vine, brought forth branches and put forth shoots.
But there were, there was another great Eagle with large wings and many feathers and behold, this vine bent its roots towards him and stretched its branches towards him. Thus says the Lord God, will it thrive? Will he not pull up its roots, cut off its fruit and leave it to wither? All of its spring leaves will wither and no great power or many people will be needed to pluck it up by its roots.
So think about that. This vine was supposed to grow big and strong and, and help the branches to bear fruit. So it means God's people, the people of Israel would bear fruit, but then other branches would have been grafted into them who will also bear fruit. Talking about Gentiles and time to time, some did right. They go back in the Bible and you come across names like Job and you come across Ruth. You come across, back up a little bit to Rahab.
You come across Nineveh. These were plate, you know, they have borne fruit, but not the way God had hoped for through his people, Israel. He had hoped for many, many, many more Gentiles to come to Israel and through Israel, find the Messiah. Would you mind reading that Ezekiel 19? Cause that, that talks about the branches were for somebody else. Could you read that Ezekiel 19, starting in verse 10?
Sure. Your mother was like a vine in your bloodline planted by the waters, fruitful and full of branches because of them, because of many waters. She had strong branches for scepters of rulers.
Think about that. So that a lot of rulers of other kingdoms and other peoples could come and find sustenance and nutrition through this vineyard, Israel. Didn't happen.
What else was it to say? She towered in stature above the thick branches and was seen in her height amid the dense foliage, but she was plucked up in fury. She was cast down to the ground and the east wind dried her fruit. Her strong branches were broken and withered. The fire consumed them. And now she is planted in the wilderness in a dry and thirsty land.
Fire has come out from a rod of her branches and devoured her fruit so that she has no strong branch a scepter for ruling. Yeah. They were supposed to be rulers coming out of Israel. Yeah. They were supposed to be reaching souls for God. And because of their failure, Christ came. Yeah.
I mean, think about it. Solomon was supposed to be that one ruler, right? The poster child who was supposed to be so wise that people would come from everywhere just to learn wisdom and in the process find the wisdom of God, right?
Christ is the wisdom of God, right? But then he got a little itchy about, you know, I need to have many wives and concubines and I'm going to build little temples for them everywhere and high places. And then it's all destroyed. The vine is destroyed. Now Christ is the true vine. And every branch in me that does not bear fruit, he takes away every branch that bears fruit, he prunes that it may bear more fruit. And this is, of course, you know, we go through trials and we go through tribulations where God the Father prunes us and he cleanses us, right? And then verse three, he says, you're already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. And then verse four, John 15, four, abide in me and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. It means our secret to bearing fruit, which are souls, is to remain in Christ.
That's right. And I know we don't have time to talk about it on this, but I think one of the things that you addressed last time was that we tend to see that language that if the branch is not in me, it's cast away and thrown into the fire. People tend to assume that I can lose my salvation.
Maybe we can devote an episode to that, but you would say at least right now, that's not the case. That's Judas. The branch is never truly connected in the first place.
It's one of those branches like you have a dead branch that falls in and it looks like it might still be part of the main plant, but once you tug on it a little bit, it's evident. It comes free. The key is abiding. Abiding is the key to abundance. And it's only when we remain in Christ by loving him, by obeying him, that we bear much fruit and the much fruit are souls. Yeah.
And God wants this life of Jesus to flow through us so that we would keep having more and more souls. And that to me is powerful. Beautiful. That's awesome. If you guys enjoyed today's topic, if you have suggestions or questions for future topics, let us know by sending us a text at 252-582-5028.
You can also visit us online at ClearViewTodayShow.com and you can partner with us financially. There's a button on there where it'll take you to a place where you can donate. We appreciate your gifts, your contributions so much, and more than that, we appreciate your partnership and your prayers as we together with you, our listeners and viewers, reach the nations for the Gospel of Christ. That's right. And because you guys have reached the end of the episode, we want to go ahead and answer that question from the very top. Dr. Shah, this question comes from Patrick G. Why does John have its own category in the Gospels? Oh, that's a good point.
Synoptic is the Greek word that means seen together. They are sort of similar. They are similar with regards to plot. They all start with Jesus's birth and then baptism into ministry.
John doesn't do that. There's no birth narrative there. It kind of dives in with heavy allegory with, in the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God. So there's difference in plot and style and also some of the words of Jesus, you know, Matthew, Mark and Luke, the stories are similar.
And that's why this whole idea that they depended on each other came in because there's a lot of similarity in the word and in the structure. But John does his own thing. The seven signs, the seven I am statements. There's a book of signs in the beginning and then the book of glory that, you know, some scholars have divided the book of John into nothing like that in the other three gospels. It is different, but that's what makes things so special.
That's what helps us appreciate that they didn't just sit down and write, but under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, through their own personalities, experiences, education level, they wrote the life of Christ. That's right. It's not multiple truths. It's one truth that you can look at from so many different ways and find something new about each other. I love that.
Absolutely. That's beautiful. We love you guys. We'll see you tomorrow on Clearview Today. We'll see you next time.
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