Abide in Christ
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” - John 15:4 (NASB)
Jesus is preparing his disciples for his departure from this world. He finished the Last Supper with His disciples and was most likely leaving the upper room and heading down to the Kidron Valley on His way to the Mount of Olives.
Grape vines were plentiful in Israel and the metaphor could have stemmed from the large grape vine that adorned the front of the temple or from the celebration of communion He had completed in the upper room. Either way the metaphor serves to illustrate the vital relationship between His true disciples and Christians throughout the ages, NOT professing believers.
He uses the metaphor of a grape vine to teach His disciples the importance of abiding in Him in order to bear spiritual fruit. To abide in Him is to remain in Him. It describes true believer’s spiritual union with Christ.
The branches of a vine share the life of the vine. The branches draw sap from the vine to eventually produce fruit. At the time of salvation there are many changes that take place inwardly, but fruit production is the external manifestation of what has and is taking place internally, for it is God who is at work in us to will and to do according to His good pleasure.
Young branches do not bear fruit immediately, but continue to draw life from the vine, eventually maturing to produce fruit. Mature branches are expected to produce fruit. The Great Vinedresser prunes those branches that are not producing fruit in order to produce more fruit. The pruning process albeit painful, is a manifestation of God’s love for His own (Numbers 14:22-24; Hebrews 12:4-11; James 1:2-4).
In the midst of the current restrictions are we abiding in Christ by keeping Him at the forefront of our thoughts, through careful bible study and personal prayer time, living a life that’s pleasing to Him, and serving Him with our whole being? Are we continuing to bear fruit? Our Father is glorified by our fruitfulness (John 15: 8).