I Am the Vine! Jesus told His disciples in John 15 that He was the true vine. "Abide in me, and I in you." What did that mean? How did that affect the disciples, and how does that affect us today?
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
(John 15:1-4, King James Version)
I Am the Vine
For a long time, I used to worry when I read verse 2 shown above. I understood that Christ is the vine and we are the branches, but I worried when I read, Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away. What if I did not bear fruit?
Bearing fruit is a natural response of being a Christian, and it can mean many things. The first evidence a new believer has that they are fruit bearers is in their desire to read the Bible and to learn more about being a Christian. Secondly, Christians desire to obey the Lord. Thirdly, becoming a believer brings about a change in the life of the new Christian. Old desires leave which are replaced by new, Godly desires.
Does all of this happen immediately upon salvation? No! It is a gradual process, and like most things, there are plenty of ups and downs. Jesus was not speaking of the believers who truly loved the Lord, but found themselves struggling with their own sins.
As a good fruit grower, the Father purges the vines. In this process, the Christian loves the world less and less and the Lord more and more.
Who, then, are these branches that need to be taken away? I really believe that Jesus is referring to those religious people who believe they are Christians, but have no heart for the Lord. They love the things of this world, and are just satisfied to have a place in heaven (so they think), but are far too busy enjoying the things of this world. I do believe, sadly, that there are many who believe they are Christians because they act like Christians, but are so filled with pride and love of themselves that they have no heart for the Lord.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
As true Christians, then, how do we go about bearing fruit? We do not! As the branch, we cannot bear fruit of ourselves, unless we abide in Christ. As in all things, we live in the power of Christ, and all of the fruit that is born is really Christ's fruit.
Jesus said, "I am the Vine!" Oh what a wonderful Savior we have!