The True Vine
John 15: 1-13
My grandfather had grapes. I remember as a child climbing through the eves that were consumed by the vines, frantically trying to hide from my cousin. There were many times where I would stop and stare at the vines, always wondering where they started and how many there were. One thing that I never questioned was the fruit that was on the vines. I knew that when I looked at the vines I would see little purple skinned, slimy green grapes. Even in the winter, when the leaves had all fallen to the ground and the vines were barren, I knew what to expect when it came time for the vines to produce new fruit. As a child running through the vines and hiding from family members I didn’t see this as an illustration of what Jesus Christ tells us in John 15 but reflecting on it now as an adult, the picture is clear.
Jesus tells us in the first verse that He is the “True Vine”. This in an encouraging thought. The true vine can be seen as the original vine that all other vines and branches stem from. The true vine is rooted into the ground and serves as the anchor for the entire plant. Jesus Christ is our anchor; He is rooted in truth and righteousness. The True Vine provides all other vines with the nutrients they need to grow and produce fruit. This is what Christ does for us. He says, “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5) Without Christ we can do nothing but with Christ, we can live lives that produce much fruit. Lives that impact those around us; lives that demonstrate Christ’s love to others and lives that ultimately glorify God through everything we do! Jesus continues by explaining that love is one of the fruits that will be produced. He then commands his followers to love others as He has loved us (John 15:12). We must then ask, “how has Jesus loved us?”
God demonstrated His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). Jesus died. He paid the ultimate sacrifice and demonstrated the ultimate love (John 15:13). He paid the punishment that we can’t pay ourselves and He brought us back to God. Jesus’ story doesn’t end with His death, though. He rose from the grave and defeated death, defeating sin at the same time. It is through His death, burial, and resurrection that we are able to have a relationship with God and spend eternity with Him. When we view our lives through the lens of Jesus’ love, showing love toward others is the least we can do!
What fruit do you produce? How are you going to demonstrate love today?