Jesus, speaking to His disciples in John 15, “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. 9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 10 If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. 11 These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”
Jesus is the Vine. God the Father is the Vinedresser or Gardener. And we are the branches.
What is your response to reading this? For years, my response was, “I need to get busy and be more fruitful!” Perhaps a well-intended thought but certainly misguided.
What should our response be? We need to ABIDE in the Vine. Other versions render this word REMAIN in the Vine. What is our job as branches? Stay connected to the Vine! Soak up the nourishment provided by the Vine. Rest in the security of the Vine. Abide in the Vine’s love.
If we abide in the Vine, we will “bear much fruit”.
If we do not abide in the Vine, we “can do nothing”.
And what is the result of abiding in the Vine? The joy of the Lord will be in you, and “your joy will be full”.
More on this passage next week. For now, enjoy abiding in the True Vine.