“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener". John 15:1
This seventh and last “I am” statement of Jesus in John’s gospel was made immediately prior to His earthly departure. Although He was physically leaving, Christ admonished His followers to continue abiding in Him as the true source of life. This foundational faith-based paradigm is affirmed in 1 Peter 1:8-9:
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls”.
But this whole concept of abiding in Christ for life and sustenance is contrary to the world’s wisdom, which pushes the meme of self-actualization whereby the individual is the ultimate determining factor in all success. While hard work and diligence are important in life, if you are not connected to the true vine, Jesus Christ, it’s all for nothing. Christ elaborated:
“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”. John 15:4.
Needless to say, the stark analogy is that a branch severed from the main supporting vine withers and dies.
But Jesus expands on the analogy of the Father God being the husbandman, saying:
“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” John 15:2.
The purging, or pruning, process involves the removal of unproductive plant growth that would otherwise divert resources from the plant’s goal of bearing fruit. In this regard, Hebrews 12:11 says:
“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it”.
(Days of Praise)