THE VINE AND THE BRANCHES
John 15: 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. “
Jesus refers to Himself as the vine and us the branch. He was trying to explain the kind of relationship we have with Him and how our relationship with Him works. The main audience Jesus was referring to had a custom and they had their ways of doing things. So Jesus explained things to them using what they knew. The vine is a plant that coils about a support, and the vine is what enables the branch bear fruit. That is why the branch ought to be in the vine, for it can’t bear fruit of itself (vs. 4). Now whenever the branch in the vine falls or isn’t receiving enough sunlight or bearing fruit, the husbandman lifts it up to a position that enables the branch have access to sunlight. That was something they always did and so it was easy for them to get the message via the illustration Jesus gave.
Verse. 2 says; “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.” Context is key, and it is what helps one understand a message. From the verse above, the word ‘taketh away’ is from the Greek word ‘airo’; which means to raise, to elevate, to lift up and to take away. Now knowing the context and background of the text as well as the cultural activities of the audience, it is very easy to understand what Jesus meant when He said take away. Also, earlier on we learnt that the branch bearing fruit has everything to do with the vine. So it will be a failure on the farmer’s part to eradicate the branch.
Therefore what was Jesus saying, He simply meant that any branch that doesn’t bear fruit now, He will lift up, He will support, He will help such a branch(us), and those bearing fruits, He will purge(i.e. to prune), so that they bear much more. So Jesus doesn’t throw people away because they may not seem to be growing, He rather assist us grow. That’s the whole essence of the Holy Spirit, to be our helper. Someone who is meant to help won’t throw you in the time of need, no not at all. Then for us who are already growing, He doesn’t allow us end at a particular point because we are growing. He ensures that we keep growing, we keep getting better.
Verse 4 further talks about those that are in Him and those that are not. The word ‘Abide in me’ there, is directed to those who have believed and are in Him; they will bear fruits and much more fruits. For to those who are not, they cannot bear any fruit. The criteria for belonging to God is believing in Him (John 3: 13-17). Those who are not in Christ cannot bear fruits and will definitely perish. It is an already decided fate for those who don’t believe, it is the state of people without God. It’s not now Gods fault, but the people, because they don’t believe and so can’t be in Him (vs. 6).
So be rest assured, if you have believed the gospel, then you are in Christ. You continue to grow in Him, you continue getting better and above all always remember that He is the one who helps you grow and become better (Philippians 2:12-13). It is God who works in you to will and do His good will. So rest in His strength, submit to Him.
Thank you lord for I bear fruits in you, thank you because I continue to grow and will never stop growing.