Summary: Jesus declares Himself to be the vine.
4 Relationships Shown Here:
1. The relationship between the gardener and the vine (God and Jesus).
Marked by care, love and protection.
The Father loves the Son dearly and works to protect Him.
The Father will not allow fruitless branches to suck the life out of His Son.
2. The relationship between the gardener and the branches (God and us).
Marked by refining and reshaping, or when necessary a removal.
The fruitless branches will be cut off. The fruitful branches will be cut on. We will be cut by the gardener in one way or another. It is up to us whether we are cut on or cut off.
What we will not allow to die, god cannot cut away. When a gardener prunes plants or trees, he will cut away the dead parts. If we don’t allow the weeds of the world to die and be exposed for removal, they will destroy our entire branch and we will be cut off completely.
3. The relationship between the vine and the branches (Jesus and us).
The vine is the source of life for the branches. Apart from the vine, a branch cannot survive.
When we remain connected to the vine, all resources of the vine are available to and for us.
The branch that is alive and thriving is one that is deeply rooted in the vine and receiving from the vine and producing fruit of its own.
The only way that we can bear fruit is by remaining in Jesus. Nobody ever talks about the fruit of the branch – it is the fruit of the vine. Our fruit that we produce must be for the glory of the vine and nothing else.
Our fruitfulness is proof of our discipleship and growth in Christ. The root of discipleship is dying to yourself (Death at 9 o’clock).
4. The relationship between the branches and the branches (our own unity).
Marked by an interwoven relationship of care, support and sharing.
The branches need to share in the sunlight, water and all forms of nutrition.
A major problem takes place when there is a branch that just hangs around and soaks up the sun and spreads its leafs to block others from absorbing any light or source of life. These branches are simply fat and fruitless.
We are called as a family to care for one another, and be willing to sacrifice for one another to ensure complete survival and life.