“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. (John 15:1 NIV)
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5 NIV)
As with last week's verse, Jesus is reminding us that we are connected to him, the source of life. There is life flowing through him into us but sadly some are unable to receive it. In a way, if we are unable to receive life then we are cut-off and separate to the source of life. Others who do receive life are pruned and therefore able to carry, or contain, more life.
The key word in this passage though is 'remain'. Seven times we are encouraged to remain. How easy it is to drift and wander away, back into our own independence and self-sufficiency, yet Jesus constantly says “remain". Remain in him, allow his word to remain in us and for us to remain in his love.
To me this speaks of rest, of being settled and content. It speaks of trust and dependency on someone greater than us. It’s a denial of self and a recognition that fruit does not come from our own effort but from remaining, or abiding, in him. In fact, Jesus says as we remain in him so the fruit we produce will be abundant and lasting. I think that’s something we have strived for but not yet fully seen. We have seen fruit but there are not that many of us that can say it was abundant or lasting.
There is a rest and contentment in him which surpasses our human understanding. It is the peace we find as we rest in him who is our Overcomer (John 16:33).
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Mark Gyde - A Father to YOU