|Posted on March 31, 2011 at 4:23 PM|
Read John 15:1-11
"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser." (John 15:1)
A vinedresser cares for the grape vines in a vineyard. It is their responsibility to cultivate and prune the vines. In ancient times, the vinedressers grape vines remained with him for decades. He would come to know each one in a personal way, much like a shepherd knows his sheep. The vinedresser would therefore, come to know which vines were producing good fruit over the years and which ones weren't. The vinedresser was constantly tending his vines, pruning it at the right time and an appropriate amount, fertilizing it and lifting it's branches from the ground. Tying them to a trellis, he ensured that his vines were protected from insects and disease.
What a loving portrait of how God deals with us! Jesus called himself the true vine and we were the branches. Every branch that doesn't bear fruit, God takes away and every branch that does bear fruit, He prunes so that it will bear more fruit. But, what is this fruit Jesus is speaking of?
Many have implied over the years that it is converts to Christianity. But, Jesus never says such a thing. Interpreting a parable demands that we look at other factors - the era, and the imagery of the parable itself. We should never see more than the parable says. For example, by the time Jesus uttered these words to his disciples, the matter of salvation had already been discussed and settled. Now, he needed to talk about what happens next. How do you live once you have acknowledged Jesus as the True Vine? Will you try to attain righteousness on your own or will you abide in Him and allow Him to produce good fruit within you?
This is all about how to live an abundant life which will produce Christ-like qualities in you. Yes, we need to share with others about salvation and yes we want to see others come to Christ, but when you look at the imagery of this parable you begin to see it is all about becoming one with Jesus. As you abide in Him, He abides in you producing those Christ-like characteristics that produce in you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
PRAYER: "Lord, thank you for tending to me, for caring enough about me to take all my life experiences, good and bad and work them together to help me life an abundant life in Christ. Your love is awesome! Thank you."