“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned,” John 15:5-6, KJV.
Vines are particularly important to the life of perennial plants. They are known for spreading out, scaling walls, and going just about everywhere. Then I thought about a tomato plant and how dependant that vegetable is upon that vine. If the tomato is pulled away from the vine, there will be no more growth when it is on its own. This is exactly what Jesus was describing to us about Himself.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me,” John 15: 1-4, KJV.
Who is our source? The source is where all of our help comes from. The sun that shines outside, the moon that glows at night, the soil where seeds are planted, and the very bodies that we carry around each day are all from One source. Our very existence depends on this source who is God.
Who are we away from the source? There are many who wander aimlessly through life, unable to identify their true purpose. I’ve heard many testimonies about being confused as to one’s calling in life. It is so sad because the answer is indeed in the Word of God. When a person is separated from God, they are going to feel empty, longing for something more. They will feel as if there’s something missing. When Jesus ministered to us about the vine, He put it on a level where we could relate and understand the gravity of detachment away from Him.
There was a very specific point that Jesus made in this passage during the first few verses. He revealed that He is the true vine, the pulse that pumps life through the entire body. I consider the importance of a heart to a human body; one cannot live without it. Jesus goes on to point out that God, the Father, is the husbandman, the farmer. What does a farmer do? He prunes his plants. He oversees what is growing on the plant and also what is withering. Those that are dry and lifeless He pulls away from the vine making room for new fruit. Those who are emerging, He helps them along by trimming off the rough edges. Isn’t that what happens as we go through trials?
The purging process I imagine to be a carefully detailed job. I don’t see it as one that is taken lightly. I believe that when the farmer planted that vine, he wanted all of the fruit to grow into full maturity, but some withered along the way. “The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” 2 Peter 3:9, KJV.
This is why it is vital to be connected to God, to stay in His word, to stay in prayer, to remain dependant upon Him and not ourselves. If we aren't, death is inevitable.