“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.” John 15:4 ESV
Years ago we were in Napa leading worship at Cornerstone church. A friend of ours we had worked with in Mexico was teaching the Spanish service there. He was also in the winery vine management business with his brother. He asked if we would be interested in going to a winery and learning about vine grafting and maintenance and how it aligns with what Jesus wrote about in the Gospel of John. Listening to him educate us on the process made John 15:1-11 come to life to me.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1 ESV… God is the “Manager” of the vineyard. Jesus is the Vine and we are the branches. On a vine there are those branches that are natural branches (The Jews). Then there are branches that are grafted in (The Gentiles). Whether you are Jew or Gentile if you don’t produce fruit you will be cut off the vine thrown into a pile and burned. The non-producing branches must be burned so they don’t spread disease to the healthy branches. Another interesting thing is this… you can take a branch from a vine that produces a different type of grape and once it’s grafted into the new vine it will eventually begin producing the same type of fruit as the rest of the branches on the vine. Some grafted in branches begin producing fruit faster than others. It’s kind of like the sanctification process we go through. We move through the process n God’s timing. A branch will produce fruit in God’s timing. Reread John 15:1-11 while keeping in mind the process that was explained to us by our friend. My quick synopsis does not do justice to our friends much more in depth explanation but hopefully you get the gist. Remember, just because you may not be producing fruit right now, does not mean you will be cut off and thrown into the fire. Sometimes it takes a while for grafted in branches to produce fruit. The secret is to stay grafted into the vine! Also remember, just like there are many different varieties of grapes there are different varieties of fruit we Christians produce. It’s not up to us what variety of fruit we produce. I’m posting John 15:1-11 here for your reading pleasure. ““I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 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. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 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. 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. 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. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. 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. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:1-11 ESV
Love ya, Pastor Don