“This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” John 15:8
Jesus is the vine and believers are the branches. That’s the analogy that we find in John 15. And we find an interesting progression in the first eight verses of that chapter. The progression is fruit, more fruit, and much fruit.
Verse 2 tells us that “every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” This pruning includes both the challenges and joys of discipleship. It may involve the Lord’s discipline as he develops our faith. The key is to remain in Him, as it says in verse four: “Remain in me, as I also 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.”
As commentator William MacDonald put it: “A branch abides in a vine by drawing all its life and nourishment from the vine. So, we abide in Christ by spending time in prayer, reading and obeying His Word, fellowshipping with His people, and being continually conscious of our union with Him.” If we do that, Jesus promises we’ll bear much fruit. “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (vs. 5)
MacDonald says: “It is not a question of the branch living its life for the Vine, but simply of letting the life of the Vine flow out through the branches. Sometimes we pray, “Lord, help me to live my life for You.” It would be better to pray, “Lord Jesus, live out Your life through me.” Without Christ, we can do nothing. A vine branch has one great purpose—to bear fruit. It is useless for making furniture or for building homes. It does not even make good firewood. But it is good for fruit bearing—as long as it abides in the vine.”
Lord, please prune us and help us to abide in you that we might bear much fruit.
Having begun as a guest speaker in 2005, Dan was appointed Interim Pastor in 2008 and has been serving Maple Root Baptist ever since. As a small group leader and Chaplin for the Connecticut Tigers, Dan has a heart for the lost and the God that saves them.