This message explains that we need to remain constantly connected to Christ. As a branch needs to be connected to the main part of the plant in order to live, we need to be “attached” to the Lord. What does this mean? Being rooted in prayer and Bible reading should be components of our daily life, providing the fuel we need to grow and stay healthy in our faith. This message uses a “fruity” object lesson to illustrate what Jesus described in John 15 with His vine and branches explanation.
Law/Gospel Theme: The Christian life is now about producing our own fruit or somehow “doing enough” for our salvation. Abiding in Jesus means trusting that His death and resurrection are enough. Staying connected to Christ as the “vine” means resting in His presence and recognizing the power of His word, rather than relying on ourselves.
Optional Materials: Grapes, in a bunch; raisins; optional: vine/branch
Bible Passage: John 15:1-8
More Teaching Ideas:
- Compare our full Sunday School Lesson on the Vine and the Branches
- Watch the video craft ideas and demonstration of our object lesson message
- Compare the preschool lesson on John 15:1-8
- You can purchase our complete Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum from the Sunday School Store
Note: Feel free to use another kind of fruit or plant if desired, but the grapes/raisins illustration works nicely for this passage.
Children’s Sermon (John 15:1-8) Jesus is the Vine
Greet the children, holding a bunch of fresh grapes and a handful of raisins…
Hello, children of God!
Do you like fruit? What is your favorite kind of fruit? I love fruit, and one kind I particularly enjoy is (hold up grapes) these: grapes! Do you know anything about grapes? They grow in bunches on vines…the vines come out of the ground, and provide the nutrition and things that are needed to produce the fruit. Grapes have to stay close to the branches and vines for them to keep giving fruit.
What would happen if one of these grapes fell off of the vine and sat in the sun for a while? It wouldn’t be fresh and juicy anymore, would it? In fact, it would sort of wither and shrivel up…kind of like these raisins! (Hold up raisins.) Now, there’s nothing wrong with raisins. They’re great for cookies or cereal or a quick snack. But compared to these big beautiful grapes, they look pretty sad and lame, don’t they?
Did you know that Jesus talked about grapes? People in those days knew a lot about farming and planting, and a lot of them probably had vineyards where they grew grapes. Jesus said that He was the vine, and that we are the branches. What might that mean? He was explaining how important it is for us to stay connected to Him. Just as the vine provides nutrition that helps fruit grow on a plant, Jesus gives us all that we need to grow in our faith. The branches on a grape vine have to stay connected to the vine so that they can produce delicious fruit. Otherwise, they’ll dry up and wither like these sad little raisins. If we walk away and abandon faith, we’ll “shrivel up”, too!
We need to stay close to Christ so that He can produce “fruit” in us. Of course, we aren’t going to start sprouting grapes or anything. Spiritual fruit refers to things that help others and show that Jesus lives in and through us. Those are things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…(if you want to quote the list from Galatians). How do we make sure we are connected to Jesus? We read God’s Word and study the Bible. We pray, talking to God and listening, too. We go to church so we can be connected with other “branches” that also abide in Him. Most importantly, we recognize that Jesus is doing the work and producing fruit through us. We don’t have to do a special set of tasks or have “enough faith.” We stay connected to the “vine” of Jesus and let the Holy Spirit develop its fruit. We trust in God and rely on Him for all things, staying close to Him and thanking Him for giving us life and hope. Why don’t we thank Him for that right now?
(Have kids repeat each line)
You are the vine of life
Help us stay connected to you
We are your branches
Help us bear spiritual fruit and share with others around us
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus’s name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. 5 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. 6 If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” -John 15:1-8
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. -Galatians 5:22-23
Vine and Branches Object Lesson Ideas
The book of John is loaded with wonderful teaching opportunities, especially if you like to use object lessons. As a children’s minister, I love this type of visual teaching. Bring kids a lesson on the importance of spiritual fruit and how crucial it is to “remain in him.”
This object lesson comes from John 15:1-8, I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 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. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
You can present this object lesson a few ways. I recommend using a “viney” potted plant, either silk or real. You also need a pair of wire cutters or pruning shears, gloves and a tablecloth. Place the tablecloth on the table and put the plant on it where kids can see it. Slide on the gloves and ask a child (or children) to read the verses aloud. Asks these questions first or during your teaching.
“Who is the vine?” Jesus
“Who is the gardener?” the Father
“What does the gardener do here?” He cuts away the dead branches, the ones that don’t produce any fruit. (Cut a small branch from the tree. If you can, choose a bare branch. You might need to pull all the leaves off a branch before the class so kids will see that it isn’t producing any leaves or fruit.)
“So Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. We need to show good fruit like peace, love, kindness. When we don’t bear any fruit, we get pruned. God reminds us to grow. He nudges us along through our life, encouraging us to produce this fruit. Eventually, branches that don’t produce are clipped away.
What happens when a branch is cut away from a vine or a tree?It withers away and dies.
Does it grow on its own? No way.
Does it make another tree or vine? No.
Little children, we need to be a good vine. We must remain with Jesus and allow him to grow good fruit in us. Love your neighbors. Bring peace wherever you go. Remain in him!
- Preschool Bible Lesson: Jesus is the the Vine
- Ministries Live or Die On This
- The Seven I AM Statements of Jesus- Lesson #8
- Object Lesson: The Fruit of Lies
- Fruit of the Spirit Object Lessons