15. The True Vine
|I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener... I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me - and I in him - bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. (John15:1-5)|
There are three aspects to fruitful vines:
- A good gardener
- Good root stock onto which the branches are grafted.
- Good branches
The root stock is critical - it must be free from disease and weakness. It is resistant to bugs, pests, and illnesses and provides the plant with the critical nutrients that it needs. Different branches of different types of grapes can be grafted onto the rootstock.
God is the gardener. A good gardener wants the very best for His plants. He tends, protects, provides, and sacrifices. A good gardener works toward a plan and will even prune when necessary, but always for the long term benefit of the plant. God is all of that for us.
Jesus is the root stock. Our roots are marred and weak because of our bad choices in terms of the kind of soil we have placed them in. There is nothing that we can do to change the bad roots which we have. Our only hope is to be grafted into rootstock that is good. That is exactly what Jesus is: Good rootstock - He is without sin and blemish and we can be grafted into Him. He is rooted in the soil of faithfulness, obedience, and sacrifice. He is rooted in love.
As long as we remain in relationship with Him, as long as we find our nourishment in His roots, and remain connected to Him, we bear fruit. Put another way: Our task is not to bear fruit, but to remain connected with Jesus. If we do that, the fruit will come on its own.
To be like Jesus we need to be with Jesus.
He is the vine and we are the branches.