John 15 records another ‘I AM’ sayings of Jesus, in which He states that “I am the Vine”, in fact, the first time He affirms this, He distinctly qualifies Himself to be the “TRUE” vine (John 15: 1). Jesus also tells the hearers that the branch that abides in the vine, firstly is PRODUCTIVE (bears much fruit – John 15:5) and secondly is PROVIDED for (whatever is asked – John 15:7).
Note Jesus did not say that the branches that are ATTACHED to Him are the ones that productive or provided for. Instead He said, that the branches that ABIDE in Him are the ones that are. Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines as one of the meaning of the word “abide” as “to conform to“. It is those who conform to Jesus (Romans 12:1), who are the ones who are effective in bearing much fruit. The fruit we are to bear are MUCH Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness and Temperance (Galatians 5:22).
There are many today who profess that they are attached to Christ (the true Vine), but live unproductive and malnourished lives, because they don’t abide in (conform to) Him. Mark Twain in biting wit writes in his notebook, “If Christ were here there is one thing he would not be–a Christian.” What a profound yet pitiable statement, this is. So the question that surfaces for each one of us is this – are we merely attached to Jesus or do we abide in Him? Not all productive lives are necessarily satisfactory and not all satisfied lives are necessarily productive. In conforming to Jesus, (and not to the world) we can live productive AND satisfied lives because He is the One and Only true nourishing vine and He claimed rightfully so.
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