John 15 begins with Jesus telling His followers:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me" (John 15:1-4).
The imagery of a vine, its branches and fruit present a very powerful allegory. The vine gives sustenance to the branch-without it, the branch would wither and die. The fruit that grows off the branch is only a result of the nutrients it receives from the vine. The more you prune the branches, the more it grows and becomes more fruitful.
Jesus' message to us begins with the words, "I am the TRUE vine" (John 15:1). There are many false vines in this world. We are often misled into believing that money, power, affluence, and physical beauty denote who we are. Our 'fruits' of material wealth, fame, and acceptance are evidence of 'success.'
Jesus, meanwhile, is referring to spiritual fruits. He warns us that God cuts off every branch that does not bear fruit, while He prunes every branch that does. This pruning process can be very painful, yet yields a great abundance of fruit. Consider a trial that you have gone through during your journey of faith in Christ. What did it feel like? How did it change you?
"The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:22-24).
God's pruning crucifies our sinful nature. Our pain is never wasted-if we REMAIN in JESUS CHRIST. Let us abide in Him together, looking forward to the complete JOY that is ours in love and obedience to His word.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete," (John 15:9-11).