“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine-grower” – John 15:1
John chapters 13-17 contain Jesus’ last discourse with his disciples that occurred the night of his arrest. These are the last words of Jesus to prepare his disciples for the days ahead. He could have told them so many things but of all the things Jesus could have shown them, Jesus brings his disciples into a vineyard to teach them about vines, branches, and fruit.
What’s the deal with vines, branches, and fruit?
Every vineyard exists for one purpose: to bear as much fruit as possible. The vine-grower provides everything that the vine needs to produce fruit: water, sunshine, shade, fertilizer, pest control, etc. As long as the branches remain in the vine, fruit is the result.
Jesus highlights four types of branches:
- No fruit – the vine-grower removes (v.2)
- Some fruit – the vine-grower prunes to make it bear more fruit (v.2b)
- More fruit – these are the branches that have been pruned by the vine-grower (v.2b)
- Much fruit – these are branches that abide in Jesus (v.4)
So, what’s the deal with vines, branches, and fruit?
No matter what kind of a world we find ourselves in – whether we live in a world with a crazy emperor who is set on killing and murdering Christians, a world that is decimated by the plague, a world that is at war – if we abide in Christ and he in us, he gives us the capacity to bear much fruit. In fact, the Father expects as much.
This is good news. Jesus is the key to living a life that bears much fruit.
I encourage you to spend some time today dwelling on what it means to abide in Christ and he in us. For that is the key to bearing much fruit. Yes, even in the midst of a world-wide pandemic, we are called to bear much fruit.
In closing, I’d like to give you a hint about abiding in Christ. It is not so much about effort as it is about being, dwelling, presencing.