““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. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. ” (John 15:1–12, NIV)“I am the true vine...remain in me.” What a profound statement! When Jesus says He is the true vine, what He is proclaiming is that there is no life outside of Him. In fact, He clearly states that “apart from Him, we can do nothing”.
But yet, we often try to attach ourselves to different vines don’t we. We try to find life in religious systems. For the Jews, it was Judaism. In our culture, Christians attach to denominations and ritual church routine. We look for the meaning of life in science or the way of life in politics. We seek security in relationships. And we find satisfaction and contentment in our hobbies, or our possessions, or our wealth.
How’s that working for you?
Jesus says that every option we choose apart from Him will leave us empty inside - like a disconnected branch that withers and dies. Oh, we can choose to attach ourselves to many things… but only one will give us life.
“Remain in me,” Jesus says, “and I will remain in you.”
Take some time to look at your life and examine the fruit of the vine. Do you see evidence of life in healthy relationships, peace during difficult times, and hope in something bigger than yourself. Or has the branch become heavy with the decay of a failing marriage, an uncontrollable habit or an unfulfilling job. Jesus is the only true vine. There is no life outside of Him. You can try….but you will find that apart from Him, you can do nothing.