In reading Jesus analogy of the vine, we get to question ourselves to find out what part of the vine we are.
15 “ I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples.
This is a commonly quoted passage of the bible. Based on what we have been reading so far, it seems as though Jesus is repeating Himself. We should take into account that John’s purpose for writing this book is to expose the spirituality of Jesus in relationship to God. Especially since the last passage ended with “let us go up from here,” I imagine this was a different time. Currently, we are reading through Jesus final instructions to the disciples before being crucified. This is important knowledge; it’s important enough that John decided to write it down.
Although this may be a repeat message, Jesus is making it practical. Anybody can picture a vine, tree, or any other plant. It doesn’t take a degree in theology to understand what Jesus is talking about here. We can use this analogy to explain the importance of an intimate relationship with God through Christ. When my wife and I were on our honeymoon, we took a tour of wineries. We learned of the process of making wine and learned how detailed they get when caring for the grapes that are growing for the wine. They even plant the crops based on the direction of the wind in the region. The leaves and withered vines are trimmed away as soon as they are noticed and the fruit is given the best possibility to grow to its fullest potential. This is what I imagine when Jesus gives this example of being part of the vine. I imagine it is why He used it since wine was seemingly the most common beverage at the time.
Another fun fact we learned on the tour is that when the time for harvest comes, not all grapes are used to make wine. Some of them are strewn along the ground to be used as fertilizer for the next crop. Isn’t it interesting that some of us are called to reach the unbelieving world and others are called to enrich the ones going? Either way, it is used for the same common goal: making fine wine.
Which part of the grape vine are you? Are you growing abundant fruit? Are you getting ready to be trimmed away and thrown into the fire? Have you already withered and are ready to be trimmed off?