The True Vine

John 15:1-2

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Israel was familiar with the analogy of a vine. The nation was God’s choice vine. The psalmist wrote that Israel was a vine “out of Egypt.” God “cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land” (Psalm 80:8-9). Hosea wrote that Israel was like a vine in the land of Canaan. God blessed her with much fruit (i.e., prosperity). But as the nation prospered, Israel attributed their success to false gods instead of the Lord (Hosea 10:1). In the New Testament, Jesus likens the vine to himself. He is the true vine fulfilling what God had intended for Israel.

“Every branch in me” is not a reference to true believers but to those who profess to be believers. If the branch bears no fruit, it is dead and God, the “vinedresser,” cuts it from the vine. On the other hand, if a branch produces fruit, the vinedresser takes care of it by pruning the branch so the yield will be even greater.

The sad truth of this passage is that many profess to be followers of Jesus. They go to church and sing the songs, but there is no evidence of new life, the transformational life that Jesus gives from day to day. This question must be honestly answered by every person who professes to have a relationship with Jesus: Is there evidence of spiritual life? Is there spiritual fruit? Am I a living branch attached to the true vine?

Lord Jesus,

I ask that question honestly and sincerely. Assure me by your Spirit that I belong to you.

In your name. Amen.  


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