Jesus told his disciples “I am the true vine… I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”(John 15:1&5) I thought it interesting that Jesus qualified the vine by saying he was the “true” vine. This I believe is a subtle way of revealing that there must be a false vine.
Funny how this whole human adventure started in a Garden in front of two trees isn’t it? The one “The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil” and the other the “Tree of Life” and of course we know Adam ate of the forbidden one. Therefore God blocked the way to the Tree of Life and cast them out of the Garden.
When Adam ate of the tree he brought death into the human race. This is when Adam (We) were joined to the false vine and could only bear fruit for death. The only way we were going to be saved from this fate was to be broken off of the one tree and be grafted in to the other. This, by the way, is our death. After all if you break off a branch from its source it is going to die isn’t it? How did this happen you might say? Well I’m glad you asked.
God came up with a plan to beat all plans. He co-crucified us with Christ. When Jesus was on the cross we were too. God baptized us into Christ or in other words we have now been joined to his vine. We, the branch, have forever had a tree transplant. We no longer have to be caught up in that old “Good and Evil” trip brought on by the false vine. Now we have the very life of God flowing in and through us and we can bear fruit for God. “He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”(1 John 5:12)
So you see, for us who have been joined to Christ through death, burial and resurrection we have a new way of living. Before we tried to do good things or avoid evil now we just look to the vine. We have finally realized it isn’t about the branch as much as it is about the vine and the fruit.
Being a branch definitely has its advantages though. Our job is to simply receive the life-flow coming from the vine. It isn’t a struggle to bear fruit if we just let the vine have its way in us. Have you ever seen a branch grimacing with a furrowed brow desperately struggling to bear fruit? Me either. But I have seen them just resting in the tree haven’t you?
Written by Louie