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. John 15:5
The grapevine is an amazing study. It is an enormous plant, whose root system can go down as far as 70 feet in search of a water supply. As it searches for life-sustaining water, the roots become more steadfast in their ability to uphold the vine, which contributes to the longevity of the entire plant.
Thriving in harsh conditions, it can produce beautiful fruit as it absorbs all the nutrients it can. These harsh conditions are actually the reason the fruit becomes bountiful (there’s ANOTHER message!). However, not all the fruit on the vine is the same. Some branches yield small bunches of fruit, some large, but as long as the branches are connected to the vine, there’s fruit.
Jesus said He is the vine. But the vine is the whole plant…the roots, the trunk, the vine, the branches, and the fruit! It’s all connected. Just like when He walked the earth, His sustenance came from the Father. He drew His strength from the roots of His relationship with Him. His nutrition came from the supply of Living Water that was always readily available to Him. So when He says He’s the vine, we can rest assured that He is a mighty, ingrained, far-reaching, unbreakable, complete Vine. When He says we are the branches of this Vine, we know that as long as we are connected to Him, we WILL produce fruit. Much of it! It’s not an “if”; it’s a “will.”
To our eyes, we may see our fruit as small. We may think we’re not as fruitful as our pastor, his wife, our friends, our women’s ministry leader, all those weighty Christians that have paved our way, or anyone else that we think is “better” at producing fruit than us. But Jesus never said how BIG the fruit would be, He just said we would produce much of it, as long as we abide in Him. And when the Vinedresser comes to harvest this fruit He doesn’t put it in separate containers, but gathers it all and puts it in one vessel. The cornucopia of all this fruit is what makes it a treasure to the Vinedresser.
Comparing ourselves to others in our journey with Jesus, looking at what others accomplish in His name, keeps us apart from Him. If we keep our eyes on Him, we will grow into sturdy, long-lasting branches. Each “branch” on this Vine has a unique purpose and relationship with Him. Each branch will produce the fruit that He deems it will. Remaining attached to Him, we then draw all our nutrients, sustenance, and provision from the everlasting, deep rooted love of our heavenly Father, producing fruit that is beautiful to HIM!
Carol Tirondola is on staff with the Partner Care team at America’s Keswick. She and her best friend, Mario, have been married for 35 years. They have 2 sons and 2 daughters-in-law that they call their “BFFs”. They also have 7 precious gems called grandchildren. Her family has savored many memories of the heart made at Keswick over the last 35+ years and she is thrilled to now be serving on staff!