“I am the vine, ye are the branches. he who remains in Me and I in him the same shall bring forth much fruit for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
Today’s focal passages speaks volumes to the true believer in Christ. This is a simple, yet very telling, illustration of discipleship in Christ. We often times go on our way doing what seems right and good, but it is not really the will of God. Proverbs states “There is a way that seems right unto man but in the end it leads to destruction.” Jesus makes it painfully clear that without Him we have absolutely nothing to offer.
I love the depth of such a simple illustration. We as the branches cannot produce anything; this picture of a vine describes it so well. The life (the sap of the plant) given through the center of the vine travels through the vine and into the branches. The branch is really just a conduit for what the vine is producing. When the branch is healthy and attached it becomes the conduit for all of the moisture and nutrients that are needed to produce fruit (grapes). Therefor the fruit is being produced by the vine itself, not the branches. If the branch is not attached, there is no fruit. Once again I have to mention the importance of our relationship to Christ by being in the Word on a regular, daily basis. Through the process of time the fruit is ready for harvest; it never just “pops out” in an instant. Sadly, this is the reason that most will never plow, sow or reap a Kingdom harvest.
I used to work near a vineyard and gained permission to hunt the property. I stopped and talked to the vine dresser (yes they still exist). This man was about eighty years old and used no fancy tools. I would see him daily covering many acres of vineyard armed only with a pair of pruning shears. I stopped and asked him what he was doing and he explained it to me. He said that if he did not trim off all of the extra growth on the branches that the grapes would have a poor harvest. These bad parts of the branches took all of the nutrients away from the part of the branch that would actually produce grapes. They all looked the same to me; but the vine dresser knew the difference. This hit me right between the eyes! This illustration came alive to me the day that I talked with this hard working older man. Not only does the vine dresser trim away sin and impurities in our lives, but he also “tweakes” the attached branches to produce fruit. God, the Husbandman (or vine dresser) removes those things that we may see as fruitful but actually are not. We see in this illustration what Jesus kept saying to His disciples. I am in My Father and you are in Me. The life of God the Father and God the Son are actively working to produce fruit in the believer that will “remain in Him.”
If we stay in the Word, attached to the vine, He will produce fruit.