Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. (John 15:4-5)
Previously, we examined these verses to see how the grace of God produces fruit in those who walk in humility and faith (thereby living by grace). Now, let’s revisit these words to consider the intimate relationship they describe. It is a profound biblical picture of us being in Christ and Christ being in us. It is like the relationship between a vine and a branch. Jesus is the vine; we are the branches. “I am the vine, you are the branches.” He is the source of the life we need. We are the recipients of the life that He alone can provide.
The Lord Jesus wants us, His branches, to be fruitful. “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit” (John 15:8). Fruit is the result of developing life. Branches do not innately have that life in themselves. “The branch cannot bear fruit of itself.” Branches must always find their life in the vine. The vine, Jesus, has life. “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). Our Lord came to share that life with us in abundance. “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). His abundant life is what enables us to bear much fruit.
Such life abundant (fruit-developing life) flows out of the intimate relationship available to us in Christ. Think of the “joined relationship” that a vine and a branch have. The branch came forth from the vine, and is ever after connected to the vine. The life of the vine is available to flow in and through the branch. We came forth from Jesus, our vine, as we were born again by His Spirit through faith in Christ. Now, we are joined to Him forever. “He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him” (1 Corinthians 6:17). Day by day, His life is accessible to us.
We access that life by abiding. “Abide in Me, and I in you.” We depend on Him to be our source of life. He, then, lives in and through us.
Dear Jesus, my vine, You are my only source of spiritual life. I confess that I often try to produce that life on my own. Also, I often think of You as far away, as I cry out to You in my prayers. Actually, You are as near to me spiritually as a vine is to a branch. Please remind me frequently of Your nearness. Lord, I want to abide in You day by day, Amen.