|photo credit: kazatzka via photopin cc|
This statement is almost too bizarre for my modern Jersey-boy ears. Vine? Really? Why would anyone say they are a vine? But when I think about it, it makes perfect sense. A vine is a plant that has branches that produce fruit. The vine is the part of the plant that provides all of the nutrients to the branches so they can grow fruit. A perfect example is a grape vine that produces grapes. . No vine and the branches dry up and die. Its pretty straight forward. No vine, no grapes.
If Jesus were telling this story at a coffee shop in Chattanooga today he would probably say something like, "I am the electrical outlet..." Similar to a vine, the electrical outlet provides all of the electricity that my appliances need to produce what they produce. A perfect example is how the computer I am using is plugged into an outlet. Because it is plugged into an outlet I can produce a blog. But without the electricity that comes from the outlet the computer would be useless. The outlet is the source of power. No outlet, no blog.
Jesus also goes on to say that his father is the gardener. In other words, he is the one that does everything necessary for there to be some huge grapes come harvest time. Jesus goes on to say that, "He [the father] cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." In other words, the father is intensely interested and invested in getting some juicy grapes. So think about it. Jesus is the outlet and God is like an electrician that is consistently involved in making sure that everything is just right so that my computer can produce great blogs. He keeps all of the cables fresh. He replaces all of the blown out fuses right away. He makes sure that my equipment is getting the right amount of amps and even hooks me up with a generator in case of a power outage. He is interested, not in my failure, but in my success. Or better said, his success.
Many of us fail to realize just how intensely interested God is, not in our failure, but in our success. He wants us to be victorious. He sets us up to be "more than conquerors." If we fail we cannot say it is because God let us down. No way! Not only has he provided a never ending source of power in his son Jesus (the vine) but he himself (the gardener) is constantly at work to make sure everything is just perfect so that we can produce some awesome fruit.
Jesus goes on to say, "Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. 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."
Plug into Jesus today. Let his power surge through you. Let his life flow through your veins. You and I have, in him, everything we need to be satisfied, joyful, and complete. In him we find our perfection, our righteousness, our holiness. In Jesus we have the true source of power for being overcomers in a world full of sin. Not only that, but we also have the father, our heavenly electrician, making sure all of our cables and wires are working at maximum output so that we can be on our A game. It's almost as if all of heaven is interested in our victory. Its almost as if all of heaven wants us to succeed. Its almost as if God actually wants whats best for us. No vine, no grapes. No gardener, no grapes. Praise the Lord, we've got them both.
Note: All texts quoted from John 15: 1-5, NIV