John 15

John 15 begins with Jesus telling us that He is the true vine which is a very familiar symbol in scripture.  We have to be rooted in Him to bear fruit for God.  And bearing fruit is expected – a branch that doesn’t bear fruit was never properly abiding in the vine.  “Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit”.  God is the vinedresser and has one thing in mind – to have his Vine (Jesus) and branches (us) bear fruit.  A branch left to itself will produce lots of growth but not necessarily a lot of fruit.  That’s why pruning is so important, not only to clearn up the dead wood which can lead to disease and decay, but to get the branch focused on producing fruit which is the point of its existence.

Jesus tells us that our walk with Him is a mutual relationship.  Not only are we to abide in Him as Christ Followers and disciples; we also must allow Him to abide in us.  “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me”.  Abiding is a key discipline that we have to learn if we’re going to bear fruit as God has designed us.  Abiding means we align our will, choices and decisions with Christ.  He sets the agenda.  We walk with Him in obedience. “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”.

The purpose of the branch is to bear fruit.  If we abide, we will bear fruit.  The quality and quantity may differ, but fruit will happen if we abide.  People don’t grow grapes for the leaves.  Fruit is required to meet the expectation of the vinedresser. “If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned”.  A branch only has life as it is connected to the vine; a disciple only spiritually lives as they are connected to the Master. A fruitless branch bears no fruit and even its wood is good for nothing but burning. That won’t happen if we abide in the vine, but only if we choose not to abide.

Not only will we bear fruit when we abide, but Jesus promises that “If  you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you”.  If we are faithful to have Christ’s words in us, and we seek an answer to prayer, we have unlimited power.  Abiding is about obedience and prayer, and the result is God’s glory.  “By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples”.  The mark of a disciple is bearing fruit.  That happens through obedience and abiding.  “If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept  my Father’s commandments and abide in his love”.  It isn’t rocket science – to abide we must obey!

Jesus gives one more commandment to us.  “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends”  God is love and He gives us the directive to go and love others the same way as Christ has loved us – complete and sacrificial love.  It’s part of abiding. It’s part of living as a Christ Follower. “You did not choose me, but  I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you”.  It is what turns on the power of God in our life as we abide in the vine and experience God’s majesty!

One response to this post.

  1. Reblogged this on Matthews' Blog.

    Reply

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