The True Vine
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 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.
5 “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. 6 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. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” (John 15:1-8, NIV)
A grapevine has one main branch and many smaller branches extending outward. That main branch receives nutrients from the soil and sends it out to the other branches, which then produce fruit. Sometimes, these branches stopped producing fruit and began to wither and die. Throughout the Old Testament, vines were a frequently used metaphor for how Israel had strayed from God.
During the Last Supper, after Judas had left to betray Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, Jesus was giving His final instructions and warning to His faithful disciples. It was during the Last Supper that Jesus made His seventh and final I AM declaration. Jesus declared Himself the True Vine, the vine that provides nutrients to His branches (the disciples). In return, these branches can bear fruit.
Jesus also declared His Father as the gardener. The gardener looks after the vines. He considers all the branches, pruning or removing those that take up nutrients but do not produce fruit. If not removed, these branches could result in even more branches being adversely affected. Additionally, the gardener will prune fruit-producing branches, in order to help them grow even more.
So what does this mean for us? Jesus is enough! Jesus will supply us with the strength, knowledge, and wisdom to endure. Hardships are not a curse! God must prune away aspects of our lives that do not align with Him, so that we may produce more fruit for Him. Hold fast to the Lord and His teachings and always remember, God is in control!
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