Summary: Our world in into staying connected. Jesus expalins that relationship with God is like a grape vine. You have to stay connected.
We live in a country and even world that is probably more connected than any one could have imagined 20 maybe even as little as 10 years ago. Having phones in every house seems to have been around for ever. Mom always told me to call if I was going to be late. There used to be pay phones everywhere. I remember the cost of 10 cents and when it went to a quarter.
When I was a teenager I used a phone for a connection to my Girlfriend. I still call her a lot. Teenagers today still use the home phones as a life line of sorts.
For over 20 years I had a pager, it was my leash. But, it has gone farther even farther I used to have a pager that just beeped or buzzed and I would all the office or home.
I really did not now who called unless I had a call me twice setup. Then a person could key in their phone number and I knew exactly who to call back, that was so great and useful. I could see the number and deicide to call back to ignore the page. Any body that knew my number could get me to call.
Then maybe 10 years ago, I got my first cell phone. It was a bag phone. I have had one every since.. But you know it has gone ever farther…All this old technology has moved on to email and sending pictures and movies… Instant messaging is everywhere. People are getting the news they want almost live weather it is sports and news or stock info.
Constant live information, the whole connection thing has really gotten out of control.
It seems like there is almost no place that you can go to get away from a phone any more.
Our scripture this morning is an in between story. Jesus washes the disciple’s feet and explains that he is going to die, he predicts peters denial. Then he says let’s go…
Headed out to the Garden of Gethsemane … It is a familure trip, if any one was worried about Judas, they would have known that he would catch up later.
Wine is s staple of Israel’s economy. Grape vines and olive groves are all over the place. It seems like Jesus has an object lesson on the way to their normal place of prayer.
It is like they are passing thought a vineyard. Jesus starts describing the relationship that they have.
Can you imagine that as this group of men head to the garden and pass by or through a vineyard and Jesus pauses and points to the base of the plant and Says "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.
He thought like that didn’t he?
All through the NT He used real life examples to explain things. Looking at an example the disciples can see that all the foliage along the trellis for maybe 20 feet in each direction all comes through the base of the vine coming out of the ground.
It is obvious where the nutrients come from, where the water is absorbed. From the Earth, through the vine to the branches.
Their eyes cut back and forth between the example and his face. Wondering what he will say next.
In the Old Testament, the nation of Israel was often compared to a vine.
In Psalm 80:8 the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt is described in terms of a vine being transplanted from the soil of Egypt to that of Canaan.
In Isaiah 5 the nation Israel is likened to a vineyard that does not produce fruit.
Over and over again Israel was referred to as a vine. The vine had become a symbol of the nation Israel. It was found on Jewish coins. Over the entrance to the temple entrance was a huge representation carved in the stone entrance way.
The connection was that Israel was the grape vine bearing fruit because of their connection and faithfulness to God.
Jesus continues, “He 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.”
Branches cut off…. branches pruned By the Gardner….The father – God. That doesn’t really sound too good. Cutting and pruning sound painful.
If we jump back to the real vine connection, the vine dresser or Gardner wanting a productive vineyard would have to tend the garden. He had to do the work because the vines would not tend themselves.
If a vine was left to grow on its own, some beaches would have lots of fruit while the rest of the plant was pretty much just wasting resources. The vines would get really good at producing foliage and not grapes.