The True Vine
Jesus gave his disciples a vivid word picture to explain the relationship between a true believer to Father God and to Himself. Here is what Jesus says, “I am the true vine and my Father is the vine-dresser.“ In this picture we see Jesus as the vine and God as the vine-dresser – (a person who tends, prunes and cultivates the grapevine)
Next Jesus explains how we fit into this analogy. He says that we (believer’s in Jesus and children of God) are the branches. Do you see it? Visualize a hearty vine with branches coming out from the life giving source.
If you have ever visited a vineyard the picture is quite clear to you. In my mind, as I read Jesus picturesque analogy, I picture a very healthy, hardy vine that has many branches growing out from the vine. As I pause to study this picture I see clearly that the branches would not survive if they were not connected to the Vine. 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. Then there are branches which have been separated from the vine. These severed branches are are withered up and non- productive. As I trace the source of the branches that are flourishing, I observe that not only is the branch intimately connected to the vine but it is actually a part of the vine.
In the Vineyard, I spy the vine-dresser, Father God, going about and inspecting each branch to see if it is healthy or if it has shriveled up and become useless.
As he goes about inspecting and pruning He observes there are some branches 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.
The unproductive branches bear NO fruit. The vine-dresser knows he must eliminate the branches that are no longer connected to their life source, the vine. These branches are withered and fruitless and as he picks them up he carries them to a raging fire and tosses them into it where they are consumed. John 15:2 Jesus the vine says, “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.”
Remain (Abide) in Me
As a believer in Jesus (The True Vine) my lifeline is in my connection to Jesus.
Jesus tells us in His word that He IS the Vine and as His child, I am one of His branches.
He is my very source of life and it is only in my connection to Him that I will 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. “
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: John 15:5 “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.” Nothing .. think about that. Anything we do apart from our source of life is worthless .. we can do NOTHING apart from Jesus.
Do you believe God’s word is true? Do you believe every word is God breathed? Do you know that the Word of God is His message to His children?
If you understand that God’s Word is living and His very words, then get this deep down in your soul. He says, Apart from Me you can do NOTHING!
When we are connected to the Vine, we do not make fruit grow in our lives. No, it is the Vine that produces the fruit in and through us.
The Hearty, Life giving Vine (Jesus) provides life and nourishment causing us to bear much fruit.
The question is, can we bear ‘false’ fruit, and if so how do we discern false fruit from the true fruit that flourishes and get’s its nourishment directly from the Vine?
In other words, do you discern which actions come totally from our own effort as apposed to those actions which are produced out of our intimate connection to Jesus?
Abide in Me – Obey Me – Love Each Other
Here is what Jesus says about the Fruit that is the product of our connection with the Vine.
In the book of John 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 causes the fruit to grow in our lives. Do not be mistaken – Do not do it backwards trying to create your own fruit (good works) apart from Jesus. Abide in Him and He in you and you WILL bear much fruit!