Part#7 Jesus Is - THE TRUE VINE
Today we are continuing in the "Jesus Is" series.
In the book of John, there are 7 ways in which Jesus described himself:
Today we are focusing on Jesus "The TRUE VINE"
Previously in this series we have learned that Jesus is The Bread of Life giving us sustenance for growth, and about Jesus the Light of the world, which will give us a vision for planning the future. We have also learned that Jesus is the Door/Gate, which is God's guidance showing us the pathway ahead (urging us toward a certain decision); as well as the Good Shepherd, protecting us as we follow Him. Then we learned that Jesus is the Resurrection, giving us a guarantee of eternal life. And last week we learned that Jesus the Way, Truth & Life which gives us clarification and a firm foundation in our faith.
These verses focus on the utter dependence that we must have on Jesus. In order to "bear much fruit" - (not just a mediocre amount of fruit but "much fruit" - a large amount) we must be completely and totally reliant on Him. If you are trimming a grape vine or fruit tree and throw the "bad" branches that you cut off onto a pile; you will notice that these branches will do nothing.
It's the same with us - without Jesus we can do NOTHING. Another interesting choice of words "Nothing" - I looked up the meaning:NOTHING - no thing, not anything. No part, no portion. One of no consequence, no significance. Something that has no existence, no quantitative value, zero.Again that is absolute - no beginning and therefore no ending - NOTHING.
Another way of looking at this is the opposite of "nothing" - With Jesus all things are possible and when we trust God we can do anything and everything that He wants us to do.
When we are talking about the "bad branches" or the "fruitless branches" - those are the areas of our life that need to be changed. When we cut out that sin from our life, then we are building character and learning to endure hardships. It doesn't feel good when that branch is being cut off but then afterwards our whole vine (life) becomes healthy and strong.
In the township where I live, there are a few months in the fall and spring when we are allowed to burn our yard waste. Many of the branches that I trim off during late spring sit in a pile at the back of my urban farm until burning season. I have noticed that many of these branches that I have thrown away struggle to live and hang on to their leaves for many weeks - but they never make it. These cast out branches always end up withering away.
These withered & cast away branches symbolize two things:
1. We can try living without our Lord and Savior and struggle along but without Jesus we will eventually wither away.
2. That "bad branch" (or sin), when cast away and when not given any water (or attention) will become weaker and easier to ignore or avoid doing.
When we "remain" in God we are given certain privileges and can "ask whatever we wish." Be careful - we are Christians and must ask according to the Father's will. A branch on a grape vine will draw from the sap of the vine and grow abundant grapes - that branch and those grapes glorify the vine. We must glorify Him.
Jesus is The True Vine, which produces in us endurance and character. We become stronger in Christ and we have peace in God during difficult times.
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