A few different things over the last few days led me to ponder the words of John 15:5. It reads: I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Jesus wants us to understand how life is truly meant to be lived. To help us grasp that Jesus clarifies both His and our identities. Jesus is the vine. In a horticultural kind of way, He is telling us that He is the source of life. As branches, we need Him. Jesus makes that clear by describing what happens when we abide in Him. Our lives will produce fruit. We will bring blessings to those around us because of the life of Jesus coming into our lives. A connected life cannot help but be a life that offers the goodness of God to other people. In contrast, if I forget that I am a branch and utterly dependent on Jesus the vine, there is barrenness that will follow me.
Maybe like you, I have read John 15:5 many times, yet I do not always keep its message clearly in front of me. Its words remind me of how much I need Jesus. It is not as if apart from Jesus I can do a 95% job or even a 25% job in life. As a branch, my only hope is tied to being connected to the vine. As we prepare to worship and gather around the Lord’s Table on Sunday, I would like to encourage you to consider the incredibleness of the gospel – that though we disconnected ourselves from God, through Jesus’ death and resurrection, we can be reconnected. And through that connection, Jesus infused our lives with His life. And that means our lives can bring the goodness of God to those around us as we go and do the things God is sending us to do. I pray as we ponder that, our souls will be stirred to cling to the vine who gives us life.