Summary: A sermon on the vine and the branches from the perspective of the Vinedresser
From Branches to Bunches
Introduction: Let’s take a field trip. We are going to stroll through the vineyard with the Master Vinedresser tonight. The aroma of fresh green growth mixed with the damp dew of the morning permeates the air. There is much that we can learn as we watch the Vinedressers skillful hands cradle the tender branches of the vine. He knows his craft well. His technique for coaxing bunches from the branches is tried and true. He sees the end result of his work before He ever lays hand to the branch The Vine that He works with is well tested and capable of producing much fruit. It’s roots and limbs provide succor for the many branches it bears. It has weathered many a storm and come out on the other side stronger and more fruitful.
The Vinedresser in Jesus’ illustration represents the Father in heaven. And Jesus said that He was that True Vine. Believers are the branches. They are expected to produce fruit in abundance. If fruit is not being produced, then the branches must undergo cultivating in the form of cleaning, pruning and training. Neglect yields a reduced and/or inferior harvest.
Jesus gave this illustration to his disciples because he wanted to show them what their lives looked like from the perspective of heaven. God looks at us in the same way, he wants to coax bunches from our branches. But if there is no fruit or little fruit, then some cleaning, pruning and training needs to take place. In this message, we are going to look at the ways in which God works in your life and mine to bring about fruit.
I. WITH CONFIDENCE HE ANTICIPATES A HARVEST (v. 2)
a. The vinedresser looks out upon the branches of His vineyard with confidence of their capability to bear much fruit. (His confidence is in the Vine and not the branches)
i. Some branches produce no fruit
ii. Some produce a little fruit
iii. After trimming, some bear more fruit
iv. His ultimate goal is much fruit (v. 5)
b. God looks at you in the same way knowing that your potential through Jesus Christ is to produce much fruit (v. 4) …without Jesus, no fruit
i. Spiritual fruit (Galatians 6:16, 22)
ii. Visible fruit (Ephesians 2:10)
iii. Numerical fruit (Matthew 28:19)
c. Is your life yielding the kind and quantity of harvest that God anticipates?
II. WITH CARE HE APPRAISES THE BRANCHES
a. The Vinedresser focuses his keen eye upon His branches looking for any sign of deadness, disease, old growth, excessive growth, or deformity. (It is a thorough inspection)
b. Right now, God is focusing his eye upon your life…looking for anything that would hinder your fruit bearing for him.
i. Will he find spiritual deadness?
ii. Will he find active sin in your life?
iii. Will he find stale spiritual growth?
iv. Maybe he will find a lot of leaf, but no substance?
v. Perhaps he will find some deformity that needs correction?
III. WITH COMPETENCE HE ATTENDS EACH BRANCH
a. Notice how the Vinedresser diagnoses each branch and attends to every one as it has need.
i. Lifting up and cleaning the “no fruit” branch (discipline) [explain Greek] (vv. 2-3)