I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer.
Most of our Lord's figurative discourses were obviously suggested by some outward thing. What was the visible object here? It could hardly have originated in a thought about "the fruit of the vine," represented by what He had been pouring from the cup; nor is it satisfactory to say that He pointed to a vine in the garden; for the garden was not a vineyard. You will notice that although the words, "Arise, let us go hence," occur in John 14:31, the words that fill up chapters 15, 16, and 17, were spoken before we come to the entrance into the garden. Now, for these long utterances to have been spoken in this walk is to me inconceivable. Some think however, that when Christ said, "Arise, let us go hence," they rose, and that the words filling the next three chapters were spoken while they were still standing, just as a leader, after he has signified that the meeting is over, may say at the door, "Stop, a new thought strikes me," and may then linger to utter unpremeditated things. But it is inconceivable that Christ should leave His longest and most important parting instructions until the audience had, at His own request, all risen to go. My own opinion is that Jesus on His way to the garden went to take a farewell glance at the Temple, and that for the purpose of teaching the disciples lessons founded on its golden vine. Nations have often taken certain plants or flowers for their heraldic devices, such as the rose, the thistle, and the shamrock. If not as a matter of heraldry, as a matter of fact, the vine appeared to be the device on the shield of Israel. Striking passages might be quoted in proof, from the prophets (Isaiah 27:6; Jeremiah 2:21; Ezekiel 15:2; Ezekiel 17:8; Psalm 80:8-11). The Master then took the scholars up to the famous national emblem displayed over the porch of the sanctuary, and with that before them, prepared them to understand that now the sacred nation was about to lose its ancient place, and to be superseded and fulfilled by the nation of saved souls; teaching them to withdraw their trust in that vine, and to place their trust in Him alone, henceforth to be one with Him, as are branches with the tree they spring from.
(C. Stanford, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.