“I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”
– John 15:5
Seminary President J. Alistair Brown tells of the time when he was walking through a beautiful city park:
“I passed a massive oak tree. A vine had grown up along its trunk. The vine started small—nothing to bother about. But over the years the vine had gotten taller and taller. By the time I passed, the entire lower half of the tree was covered by the vine’s creepers. The mass of tiny feelers was so thick that the tree looked as though it had innumerable birds’ nests in it.
Now the tree was in danger. This huge, solid oak was quite literally being taken over; the life was being squeezed from it. But the gardeners in that park had seen the danger. They had taken a saw and severed the trunk of the vine—one neat cut across the middle. The tangled mass of the vine’s branches still clung to the oak, but the vine was now dead. That would gradually become plain as weeks passed and the creepers began to die and fall away from the tree.
How easy it is for sin, which begins so small and seemingly insignificant, to grow until it has a strangling grip on our lives. And yet, Christ’s death has cut the power of sin. Yes, the “creepers” of sin still cling and have some effect. But sin’s power is severed by Christ, and gradually, sin’s grip dries up and falls away.”
Jesus also spoke of a vine, the true vine. Speaking of Himself He said,
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me, I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. (John 15:1-5).
Now that’s the kind vine we want to grow up in and around our lives. So, my friends, when life seems to be falling apart and hopeless, remember who you belong to and who the gardener is, and remain right where you are. He knows just how to prune. Maranatha!