Jesus is the Vine – John 15:1-14
Jesus says he is the Vine. Not a vine or like a vine – and God is the Gardener. The main part of the parable is about the pruning of grape vines. I know of four types of pruning: pinching tips, topping, removing suckers, and thinning. Most likely, this parable refers to thinning which improves the quality and quantity of the grapevine. Without thinning, the vine will only bear fruit once and the branches will run awry.
As a vine, we would never want to see the Gardener heading our way with shears. That would involve suffering. However, Psalm 119:67 states, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep your rules.”
The affliction could be sickness, persecution, loss of a loved one, or a vehicle accident. Just as is true with a grapevine, the more we are pruned the stronger we become. The fruit of the spirit is of better quality and quantity because we are closer to Christ.
God always leaves a bud so that we have the chance to bear fruit once again. Our Gardener’s pruning removes our self-centeredness and selfishness. It places us next to Christ where we can have fellowship with him. No matter what you do or say, no matter how good you look from the world’s eyes, it is of no eternal value if it is apart from Jesus. If we are attached to the vine, we receive nourishment and encouragement.
We are known for our fruit. If the fruit is of our own plans it will fail. The Gardener has given us a plan and we cannot improve on it and His word will keep us close to the Vine of Jesus for that is the nourishment that will transform us.
A MASTER GARDENER’S TIMELY TIP: Very few have grown grapevines, but many have roses in their yards. Roses should be pruned during the winter in a mounded shape, as much as 1/3 to 2/3 back. Cut canes diagonally from 35% to 45%, ¼ inch above an outward-facing bud.