The Vine and The Branches
The True Vine
Jesus gave his disciples a vivid word picture to explain the relationship between a believer to his Father God and to Jesus Himself.
Here is what Jesus says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-dresser.” John 15:1 Jesus is described as the vine and God is described as the vine-dresser – the person who tends, prunes and cultivates the grapevine.
Next, Jesus explains how we fit into this analogy. He says that we (believers in Jesus who are the children of God) are the branches. Our source of life is the vine.
Do you see it?
Visualize a hearty vine with branches flowing from the life-giving source. The branch is connected to the vine, right?
If you have ever visited a vineyard, the picture is quite clear to you. In my mind, as I read Jesus picturesque analogy, I see a very healthy, hardy vine that has many branches growing out of it.
As I pause to look closer, I realize the branches will not survive if they are not connected to the vine.
Inspecting even closer, I see branches in various conditions. Some of the branches are healthy, thriving and bearing fruit; Some are even bowed down and heavy with the massive amount of fruit they have produced.
I also see pathetic branches that have separated from the vine. These severed branches are withered up and non-productive.
The Branch, The Dresser and The Vine
In the Vineyard, I spy the Vine-Dresser. In the scripture, Father God is described as the Vine-Dresser. The vinedresser goes about inspecting each branch to see if it is healthy or if it has shriveled up and become useless.
“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.” I John 15:2
As the Vine Dresser inspects his vineyard, he is pleased with some branches which are creatively woven through the fence; They are strong and robust bearing abundant fruit.
The expert vine-dresser knows that if he prunes those healthy branches they will bear even more fruit. Although Father God knows pruning hurts, He also knows it is necessary for growth.
Have you ever been pruned? It's painful! But it is a necessary process we must go through in order to grow.
The unproductive branches have NO fruit on them. The Vine-Dresser eliminates these branches. Look closely. They are no longer connected to their life source, the Vine.
"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." John 15:6
Those shriveled up branches are as those who have tasted of Christ but fallen away:
"It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away to be to be brought back to repentance. To their loss, they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace." Hebrews 6:4-6
Remain in Me
Remain (Abide) in Me
As a believer in Jesus, (The True Vine) my lifeline is in my connection to Jesus.
He is my very life. It is only in my connection to Jesus that I grow and produce fruit.
John 15:4 “Remain (abide) in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain (abide) in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain (abide) in me."
We Need Him
Without Me, You Can Do Nothing
Why is it that we get so lost? How is it that we think, as a branch, we can survive without the vine?
Jesus is so clear here: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
Nothing ..think about that. Anything we do apart from our source of life is worthless ..we can do NOTHING apart from Jesus.
How do you stay connected to the vine?
You go to the Word of God - The Bible.
Jesus has chosen to speak to us, today, through his word
"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12
We need Him. We need his word! As we spend time in it, cherish it, memorize it meditate on it - it changes us - it produces fruit in us.
If you know that it is the way he has chosen to instruct and teach his children. Then you understand the key to being connected to your source of life.
Let's get this deep down in our soul. He says, Apart from Me you can do NOTHING!
When I am connected to the Vine, it not ‘me’ that grows the fruit in my life. No, it is the Vine that produces the fruit in and through me. I can take no credit for what he is doing. I am completely dependent on Him to nourish and grow me.
He requires surrender.
So, dear friends, when you feel like you can’t do it, when you don’t see how you can get through a storm remember what Jesus says, “Without Me, you can do NOTHING.”
Run to Jesus! Cling to the vine. It is the vine that gives life and strength. The vine creates fruit in your life. No, you cannot do it on your own. You can never weather the storm by yourself.
The key is found in our connection to the true vine.
Come to Jesus
Abide in Me – Obey Me – Love Each Other
Here is what Jesus says about the Fruit that comes from our connection to the Vine.
In John 15:9-12 Jesus says,
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love,
just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.
You are my friends if you do what I command.”
As a branch that is totally connected to the vine, we bear fruit as
- we remain in His love
- obey His commands
- and love each other as He has loved us
We who have accepted the Lord Jesus gift of Salvation are His children. We were born again of the Spirit and adopted into the family of God.
It is He who creates the fruit and it is HE that makes it flourish and grows. Do not be mistaken – Do not do it backward, apart from Jesus, by trying to create your own fruit (good works).
Abide in Him and He in you and you WILL bear much fruit! Jn. 15:5
I Can't Live a Day Without You!
© 2017 Susan Ream