I AM THE VINE
In John 15 :1 Jesus makes another statement about Himself; ‘I am the Vine, and my Father is the Vinedresser’. In v 5 He repeats the statement, but this time He says to His followers – ‘you are the branches’. Branches that need to stay connected to the main vine in order to produce fruit for Him.
Have you ever wondered why Jesus used the picture of a Vine? Could he not have said that He was an olive tree, or a fig tree, perhaps. The picture still would have worked for a plant with fruit yielding branches. His listeners would have understood why. In the Old Testament, vines and vineyards were often used as pictures for Israel. Most notably in Psalm 80: 8-19 we have the description of a vine, brought out of Egypt, planted so that it took deep root and flourished. This is an obvious reference to God’s chosen people of Israel. Yet the Psalm goes on to lament that God has let the hedges surrounding this vine/vineyard be broken down so that the fruit can be stolen, by thieves and wild beasts. The cry is for God to restore His vine and His vineyard.
Israel had been God’s chosen people, to carry His presence and declare His glory. But they had failed to do so through their sin and disobedience. Here in the New Testament we have Jesus saying ‘I am the Vine’, and you can be a part of Me. He was the new vine that God had planted – and those who believed in Him would become the God’s chosen people to carry His presence and reflect His glory.
Vines are planted in order to produce fruit, so it is with the Vine that is Christ Jesus. It’s branches must bear fruit, fruit that glorifies God. As branches of the Vine we don’t produce fruit of ourselves, He produces His fruit from our submitted lives, the fruit of His spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Sometimes He needs to prune things from our lives that prevent us bearing fruit. Sometimes He has to bind up the branches so that they can bear the weight of the fruit. Always His Word brings the truth we need to keep our lives clean and attached to Him (John 15:1-7). Jesus, the Vine, asks us to abide in Him. To make Him our first focus and be willing to submit everything to Him. Then we will see His fruit flourish in our lives.
What does abiding in the Vine look like for you?
‘Huw, do you know my story?’
‘In part. You considered taking vows yourself, did you not?’
‘Yes. Truthfully, I did. I too thought it was the only way to live a life of devotion to God. And God had spared my life miraculously, so I believed it was my only reasonable response to Him. And then Efa came back into my life.’ Philip paused, a look of quiet joy crossing his face. ‘A wise friend showed me then that a life of devotion to God does not always have to be inside abbey walls. I realised that my path lay in being a husband and a father. And that I could still live each day serving God and others.’
‘You and your wife are well known and loved for the way you serve others, and care for the needy. And for your godly lives and wisdom,’ Huw said with quiet respect.
Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.
‘The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022
More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com