I Am the Vine

Read: John 15:1-11

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. (v. 5)

A windstorm left tree branches strewn across my yard. What would happen if I took one of those broken branches and planted it in the ground? Would it grow? No! The branch had been broken and cut off from the tree, its source of life, and could not live anymore.

“I am the vine,” Jesus said to his disciples, “you are the branches” (v. 5). It’s only by being attached to Jesus Christ, by being united with him in an intimate and live-giving connection, that we can do anything at all. In Christ—in relationship to Christ—we have life, but apart from him is only death. As a branch is nothing but a dead stick apart from the vine, we’re nothing but dead wood apart from relationship to Jesus Christ (v. 6). In the vine—in Jesus Christ—there’s life. Apart from him, we can do nothing. We live because he lives. We live nourished by the vine.

God joins us to Jesus Christ by the Spirit. He prunes our hearts and lives, all so that we can bear fruit for the glory of God (vv. 2, 8). When we belong to Jesus Christ, when we’ve been united to him, the true vine, our lives will begin to show evidence of it. Not only will we no longer love sin, but we’ll begin to love God, his righteousness, and seek to live in thankfulness.

As you pray, ask Jesus to make you abide in him and bear fruit.

About the Author

Stephen Shaffer is the pastor at Bethel Reformed Church in Brantford, Ontario.

This entry is part 17 of 31 in the series Looking to Jesus