It is a good thing for us to be introspective at this time of the year. It is very important where our hearts are so it is a good thing for us to spend some time considering and thinking about.
John 15:1-17 – Vines and fruit.
The Passover is at full moon. There’s a good chance that Jesus and his disciples were walking through the country, perhaps through some vineyards, in the light of the full moon.
I Am the True Vine
There are a number of characters in this story that Jesus tells. The center of the entire thing though is the vine.
People look for places to connect their lives. Causes are all around us. Humanity has many religions, and there are many sincere followers of these many religions.
There are lots of man made substitutions, but there is only one true vine. One true source of happiness and purpose.
The one, true source of happiness and life is this vine – Jesus.
God is actively involved and interested in the lives of humanity. He wants good things for us and He knows what it will take to get us to a good place.
We Are the Branches
Pruning and cutting may not be a very exciting concept, but it is what Jesus focused on in this parable. Removing unproductive or dead wood from the plant is important for fruit production.
The pruning process is specifically aimed to maximize production, the result is hopefully more fruit.
There are two types of branches Jesus talks about. In this parable the branches have the choice of what kind of branch they are.
God is looking for willingness plants that connect with Him and take in his living “sap” and produce fruit.
The fruit that God is looking for is character traits that mirror that of the vine that they are connected to.
Even in an old dead looking branch God knows that there is potential for new life to yet spring from that branch.
The second type of branch is the branch that isn’t producing fruit. We can appear attached but refuse the live giving “sap” that is offered from the vine we are connected to.
Walking with Jesus had changed the disciples. But there was major pruning ahead for them yet.
Abide in Me
The word abide is related to abode. It is where we are to stay, where we are to abide. We make the choice to make the step and make the connection to Christ.
God has done so much in preparing this place and way for us to remain and abide, our choice is small. Jesus also promises to come to us and live in us. He will abide in us as we abide in Him.
Without Christ, without a connection with Him… we can do nothing.
Abiding isn’t the “default setting” its not just something that happens if we hold still. We need to actively pay attention to the connection to the vine. This isn’t just a random New Years resolution… this abiding is a vital part of our life both now and for eternity.