Tag: cut off fruitless branches
Scripture reading for November 4th: John 13-17
Several years ago, I planted two grape vines in my back yard along the fence. I had used these potted vines as a sermon illustration of Jesus’ teaching in John 15. I studied grapes and found that they were one of the most widely grown crops in the world. There are many different varieties and colors and people love to eat them fresh, as juice, or as wine. They also need cultivation and tending to be the most fruitful and healthy. Dead and diseased branches need trimmed off and the vines trained to grow in the arbor. The branches are not good for anything but producing fruit. They will not make lumber but are only good for burning.
Jesus used this great agricultural example to teach his disciples about their need to stay attached to Him! Jesus said that He is the true vine and the disciples are branches. If they would just “abide” in Him and allow His Word to “abide” in them, they would produce much fruit. (John 15:7) Being a branch is all about “abiding”! Abiding branches ask the Father for what they need, and He answers! We must stay attached and draw our nutrients from the vine and its roots. It doesn’t sound too hard to understand! A branch that doesn’t remain attached is good for nothing but the fire!
Jesus also went on to say that His Father is the gardener who tends the vine. (John 15:1) The gardener’s job is to keep the vine healthy and producing fruit. Jesus’ Word is the means of pruning His branches. All fruitless branches are pruned off to keep from wasting precious nutrients so that those branches that are abiding could use those nutrients to produce fruit. Fruitful branches are pruned and trained to maximize fruit production. God is glorified when His branches produce much fruit! (John 15:8) Branches that produce no fruit are trimmed off and are good for nothing but the fire. These are like people who refuse to abide in the vine and think that they can make it on their own.
As a sermon illustration this year, I took a branch off this grape vine. It had grown in 4 years to nearly 20 feet long and covered a section of a wooden fence that I planted it near. I put the branch in water and brought it to church. One branch had 12 clusters of grapes on it and a second branch had none! I had cut them off and after just one hour, the were already wilted. It is amazing how quickly they die without attachment!
The lesson for us is plain and simple. We must stay attached to the vine and also bear fruit. This takes a relationship with God through His Word and prayer! He wants fruit that will last for eternity! What a privilege to bear precious fruit for eternal life! Are you securely attached and producing?