Monday 17 February 2020
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
Jesus left this simple but deeply profound picture of what we are as the church and what our purpose is.
In Hampton Court near London, there is a grapevine which is about 250 years old, five feet wide and over 120 feet long. The Great Vine is also one of the oldest- and largest-known vines in the world. The vine usually blossoms in early May with small and fragrant flowers. The annual harvest of this massive grapevine usually takes place at the end of August and lasts for two weeks. The vine regularly yields from 500 to 700 bunches of grapes each year. Although some of the smaller branches are 200 feet from the main stem they still bear the sweet and delicious fruit because they’re connected to the vine. Life flows from that single root and throughout the vine bringing nourishment and strength to each of the branches.
As the church we are connected to one another and also to Jesus who promises to do the same for us. He is the “true vine” bringing life and nourishment to each of the branches to fulfil its purpose that they might produce fruit. When separated from the vine the branches wither and die. The vitality of our spiritual life is dependent upon our connection and willingness to deeply abide (stay put) in Christ the “true vine.” Age is no barrier to producing fruit, our great vine at Hampton court proves that, our abilities are not a factor, what really matters is our connection to the vine, the deepening of our relationship to Jesus. Our bible reading today also says that God wants us to produce even more fruit as we mature in him, to do that He prunes the branches. He makes a cut. If you have ever pruned a plant or watched a gardener at work, it looks pretty brutal, the plant is left pretty bare, ugly and marred, almost as if it will never produce anything, but it’s God’s way through the process that even more fruit is produced.
This is one of the most vital teachings of Jesus. He is on His way to the garden of Gethsemane where He himself must ABIDE in Gods will. It was because Jesus remained with the plan and stayed in the garden and was cut, marred and pruned through the cross, to produce branches, which in turn produces much fruit for the Gardener (God the father).
Are you connected to Jesus the true vine? Are we fulfilling the purposes of the vine by bearing fruit? Are you abiding deeply in Him? Are you willing to be pruned so that you bear even more fruit?
John 15 v 1-17
“The vinedresser is never nearer the branches then when he is pruning them.”—