18th May 2022

I AM the True Vine and you are the Branches - Insight of the King



Acts 15: 1-6;               Ps 122: 1-5;                Jn 15: 1-8




The image of the vine was a rich one for the Jews since the land of Israel was covered with numerous vineyards, and had religious connotations to them well. Isaiah spoke of the house of Israel as “the vineyard of the Lord” (5:7). Jeremiah said that God had planted Israel “as his choice vine” (2:21). While the vine became a symbol of Israel as a nation, it was also used in the scriptures as a sign of degeneration. IIsrael was a vineyard that “yielded wild grapes” (Is 5:1-7) and had become a “degenerate and wild vine” (Jer 2:21). When Jesus calls himself the true vine he makes clear that no one can claim their spiritual inheritance through association with a particular people or bloodline. Rather, only through Jesus Christ that one can become grafted into the true “vineyard of the Lord”.


Jesus offers true life – the abundant life which comes from God and which results in great fruitfulness. How does the vine become fruitful? The vine dresser must carefully prune it before it can bear good fruit. Vines characteristically have two kinds of branches – those which bear fruit and those which don’t. The non-bearing branches must be carefully pruned for the vine to conserve its strength for bearing good fruit. Jesus used this image to describe the kind of life he produces in those who are united with him – the fruit of “righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom 14:17). Jesus says there can be no fruits in our lives apart from him. The fruits he speaks of here are the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23).


There is a simple truth here: We are either fruit-bearing or non-fruit-bearing. There is no in-between. But the bearing of healthy fruit requires drastic pruning. The Lord promises that we will bear much fruit if we abide in him and allow him to purify us. Do you trust in the Lord’s abiding presence with you?


Response: Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

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