Manage episode 290175158 series 2800784
When I was a kid my grandmother had a red plum tree in her backyard. When the fruit was ripe, she made the most delicious red plum jelly. I have great memories of eating the jelly with butter on hot biscuits. As I think back, I never remember my grandmother doing anything to get the tree to produce the plums. There was nothing she could do to help the tree along. The tree had been planted in the right location. It was in the right environment with plenty of sunshine and water. The tree naturally produced the fruit.
One of my favorite passages of scripture in the New Testament is found in John chapter 15. It’s Jesus teaching about you and I abiding in him. It’s here that we learn that Jesus is the true vine.
John 15:4-5 – Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
Jesus is the source of life. Like a branch getting nutrients and water (life) from its connection to a vine, we get our “sustenance” from Jesus. It is through our “abiding” with Jesus that we are able to live a fruitful life. If we are disconnected from Jesus, we are like a branch that has been broken off the vine. We are unable to accomplish anything that really matters.
When we embrace Jesus as the “true vine” we being to understand some things:
Jesus is the source of life.
Jesus is the master of the metaphor. He paints clear pictures of truth using everyday common things. I can imagine Jesus and his disciples walking through a vineyard…I am the true vine.
Real life is found in Jesus. How many of you discovered this truth when you became a believer? Like so many others, you probably thought, “Why did I wait so long to put my faith in Christ? Why did I think real life was found in other things?” Jesus is the source of life.
Jesus is saying in these verses that apart from Him we are unable to accomplish anything of lasting significance.
Obviously, this would get people’s attention. What we expect to hear is how we can “do anything if we set our mind to it” and “all we have to do is believe in ourselves.” But that is not the message Jesus gives to His disciples.
It is only through abiding with Jesus and staying connected to him that we have the power to accomplish his purpose for our lives.
It has the idea of consistent connection. It is a deep, close intimacy that lasts over time, as opposed to a casual acquaintance. It has the idea of Christ taking up residence in us, and our taking up residence in relationship with him.
Where there is no abiding…there is no fruit.
Jesus is saying that if we learn to ABIDE IN HIM, our lives become fuller…more abundant…more productive. We begin to experience the FRUIT that only comes when we tap into the power of an ongoing relationship with God. When we do this we have more love, more joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.
John 15:8: “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” This is not a suggestion but an imperative. When we settle in with the Savior we will demonstrate abundant fruitfulness and bring glory to God. Conversely, if we do not remain in fellowship with Christ, our lives will not bear spiritual fruit.
Today’s Challenge: Is your life bearing the fruit of the spirit? Are you abiding in Christ? Recognize that it is impossible for us to bear the spiritual fruit out of our own human efforts. It only happens as we abide with Jesus, the true vine.