John 15: 1I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Jesus had been teaching for three years. He used trees and vines a lot. This would be his last time, and it was about him being the vine and believers being the branches. He was reminding them to stay attached to him and that he would stay attached to them.
We have a responsibility in our relationship with God. It’s not all God’s. Many teach a Christianity that turns it around as if we are the vine and he’s the branch. In their minds God serves us. We don’t have to follow him; he’s there to serve us. I’ve had people tell me over the years that church wasn’t doing anything for them. God is not here to please everybody. His house is not for people to be worshipped. God is to be worshipped. People want to be the vine and not worry about their connection to Jesus. When a branch is disconnected from its vine, it dies. I cannot live on the fruitfulness of you and you cannot live on mine. By the same token, I can’t steal your fruit and you cannot steal mine.
We’re alive because of what trees do. We breathe in the oxygen they exhale. They breathe in the carbon dioxide we exhale. Isn’t that amazing! Only God could do that. That’s why it is important to abide in the vine. There are still some trees in the Garden of Gethsemane that date back to David’s day. That means Jesus walked under them. They still produce olives. We can still produce fruit. Even our people who are in nursing homes help us. When I visit them I always get a blessing. Those of us who go to the Valley services each month always get a blessing.
We miss blessings when we try to turn it all our way and fit Jesus into our schedule. The worst mistake to do is make Christianity a selfish thing. Jesus said I am the vine, ye are the branches. We are to follow him. The disciples needed to be reminded and so do we. Jesus is the Savior, not us. He’s the Way, the Truth, and the Life, not me. Not you.
When I was a boy I cut a stick off a vine and stuck it in the ground thinking it would grow. Daddy told me it wouldn’t because it needed a seed. We needed the seed of God planted in our heart. The Bible says in Ezekiel that a plant of renown will be raised up. That’s Jesus. He grafted us in and made the connection. Who am I to look at him and say that I am the vine? You don’t see a tree that is killed by its own branches. Don’t let anything pull you away from the vine.
Remember who God is and that we’re in him. Abide in him. Stay connected to him.