The Vine and the Branches
Jesus is the vine and we are the branches.
A picture of a grapevine and a tree branch that is dead.
"Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5 (NLT)
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Have you ever noticed that when Jesus was teaching, he often told stories to help his followers understand what he wanted them to learn? Well, he did, and our Bible lesson today is one of those stories. If Jesus had given his stories a title, he might have called this story "The Vine and the Branches." This story was about grapevines. He chose the grapevine for this story because in the land where Jesus lived, there were many grapevines and he knew that his followers would know a lot about grapevines.
I don't know if you have ever seen a grapevine, but there are two parts to the grapevine. There is the vine—and there are the branches growing out of the vine. The grapes grow on the branches. That is pretty much like any fruit tree that you might have seen. They have a trunk and branches with fruit growing on the branches. The only way that a branch can have fruit on it is for it to remain connected.
I found this branch lying on the ground. Look at it! It has no leaves and no sign of life left in it. If it came from a fruit tree, it will never have any fruit on it. That is what Jesus wanted his followers to understand as he told his story about the grapevine. He wanted them to understand how important it was for them to stay connected to him. He told them, "I am the vine and you are the branches. If you remain in me, you will have much fruit, but apart from me, you can do nothing."
Jesus wants you and me to produce fruit in our life. He wants us to be kind, gentle, generous, and loving. Can we do that on our own? No way. Just as the branches must be connected to the vine before they can produce fruit, you and I must stay connected to Jesus to produce the good fruit that God expects of us. If we keep our life connected to Jesus, we will grow. Our life will produce beautiful leaves and delicious fruit. But if we are separated from Jesus, our leaves will wither and die and we will never put forth any fruit.
Let's pray and ask God to help us to remain faithful in following Jesus and his teaching.
Heavenly Father, we ask you to help us to be faithful followers of Jesus and produce much fruit in our life. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.