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. John 15:5
I currently have our verse of the week on a chalkboard in my bedroom. It was originally going to be in the kitchen, but it fits better in the room where we lay our heads down to rest at night. It is also one of the first things I see every morning. I may not intentionally mediate on it every time I see it, but after reading this chapter, I was reminded of why I had it written on the chalkboard in the first place.
The chapter begins with the roles of Jesus and the Father: Jesus as the true vine and the Father as the vinedresser. This analogy is relatable to the disciples because they have seen vines growing on the ground, and the vinedresser pruning and washing the grapes clean, so they are able to enjoy the ripe fruit.
A vine is the branch’s lifeline in order to actually bear the fruit. If the branch is not connected to the vine, then it is worthless and cannot fulfill its purpose. I want you to notice something that Jesus says in verse 1: “I am the true vine.” When we see the word “the” it means that it is the one and only. In the same way Jesus says in the previous chapter, “I am the way, the truth, and the life”, He is indicating that there is no one else who can do what He is able to do through you. We can look for sustenance through other areas of our lives, but it won’t fill that Jesus shaped hole we have in our hearts. We can do nothing apart from Him.
Now, the second part of verse one is about the Father as the Vinedresser. Vinedressers are no ordinary farmers. They come to know the vines and branches personally and intimately. It may sound odd, but with proper care, vines can live for 50-100 years. It takes more than just a few watering sessions to keep these vines going. In the same way, our Father knows His children personally and looks after us with immense care. He knit us together in our mother’s womb. We are engraved in the palm of His hands (Isaiah 49:16). Friends, I’m not sure what your circumstance is with your earthly father, but your Heavenly Father, the Creator of the world, knows you intimately and personally. And He doesn’t just know our personality traits and our natural habits, He knows what is good and perfect for us.
So what is our role in all of this? Well, the Vinedresser and the Vine do all the heavy lifting; we merely need to abide in Jesus. In the first 10 verses, Jesus mentions “abide” about 10 times. I think He is trying to tell us something! In order to truly live in harmony with our Vine, we need to connect to our main source: the Word of God. That is our foundation for everything. Circumstances in life, the enemy’s attacks, or the world’s hatred can thwart us from abiding in our life source. But those are the times more than ever, that we need to dig deep in Truth, abide in Jesus, and trust that the Vinedresser is only pruning to produce delicious and long-lasting fruit.
This passage is probably very familiar for you as it is for me, but I pray you gained a fresh perspective on our Heavenly Father as I did. My chalkboard will now remind me of how the Holy Trinity is always working on my behalf, and I need only to abide in my Savior and watch the fruit flourish.