Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
In the previous verses, Jesus explained the spiritual life using the analogy of a vine and branches. The vine gives life to the branches, and the branches bear fruit. The absence of fruit indicates the absence of life and therefore needs to be cut off. Fruit-bearing branches need to be pruned in order to produce even more fruit.
In our passage today, Jesus encourages the disciples by telling them that they have been cleansed (pruned) by him and his message. Spiritual fruitfulness results from our connection to Christ and his life flowing through us by the Holy Spirit. And…Jesus reminds his disciples and us that fruit-bearing is a joint venture.
The word “remain” describes this partnership with Jesus. First, we must accept Jesus as Savior. Every fruit-bearer must be connected to the True Vine. Second, we must persevere. Third, we must obey. We cannot do what God must do, and God will not do what we should do. How’s your partnership with Jesus?
Father, thank you for the life-giving Vine, your Son Jesus Christ. Thank you for connecting us to him. Help us to be obedient participants in the process of bearing much fruit for you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Today’s Journey Message: