“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.
- 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.
- If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
- Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit:
- so shall ye be my disciples.” John 15:5-8
My husband, Tom, enjoys planting a garden. He prepares the ground, measures his rows, and makes sure they are straight. He sprinkles fertilizer in the clay dirt rows and drops in the seeds. This year he painstakingly put up a tall fence the deer could not jump over and fixed it where the racoons wouldn’t want to climb over it. We had almost given up trying to plant corn because of those two critters. What the racoons didn’t get the deer finished off and we got a few leftovers.
This year the watermelons disappointed Tom. Their vines produced fruit but died before the fruit could mature. Hence they were good for nothing. But the corn-all nine seventy-foot-long rows-produced an abundance. The fence protected the precious crop. We had enough corn to freeze around three dozen pints, eat corn on the cob for a couple of weeks, and give away about five to six hundred ears to friends, family, and others. It brought joy to the recipients and honor to my husband, both as a gardener and an all-around good person.
Obviously, the watermelon vines were bad and so was the fruit. On the other hand, the corn … you get the point.
Jesus made his point with his disciples and left us a record of it that we might know what fruit a disciple produces and how it’s produced. In truth, the disciple only needs to continue abiding in Jesus, our vine, to produce fruit. It is his righteousness in us supplying the fruit. We are simply the branch that manifests the fruit of his Spirit in us for others to see. The fruit is the image of Christ in us. The apostle Paul tells us we, the branches, are-
“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness,
which are by Jesus Christ [the vine],
unto the glory and praise of God[the gardener].”
The True Vine gives of himself to the branches in order for them to bear his fruit. The branches fulfill their purpose as the fruit of the Spirit of Christ in them produces righteousness and fills us with love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. This fruit in us points others to the Gardener and the True Vine he provided for us. We are told,
“Herein is my Father glorified,
that ye bear much fruit:
so shall ye be my disciples.”
Abiding in Christ, brings life into and through the branches, us. As we bear his fruit, he is honored. We receive joy and fulness of joy as others see the image of Christ in us and find life in the vine, too.
Remember, we are attached to the Vine. He supplies all we stand in need of to live life in him. His life in us produces the fruit as we grow and mature until the day of harvesting.
Jesus finished this teaching with these words-
“As the Father hath love me, so have I loved you:
- continue ye in my love.
- If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love;
- even as, I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
- These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you,
- and that your joy might be full.” John 15:9-11
Tom has harvested all the corn. There is no more fruit. All that remains is to burn what’s left or mow it down. Sadly, another harvest day is coming and for those not attached to the True Vine there will be no joy-only destruction.
“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.”
What is your favorite fruit to enjoy at harvest time? I hope you get an abundance. As you do, remember there is another day of harvesting coming-a day of joy to those abiding in the love of Christ and a day of sorrow for those who do not abide in Him. May the fruit of Christ fill you to overflowing into the lives of those who do not yet know him as their Vine.