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The Vine

Scripture: Isaiah 5: 1-2, 7; John 15:1-2

I will sing for the one I love a song about his vineyard: My loved one had a vineyard on a fertile hillside. He dug it up and cleared it of stones and planted it with the choicest vines. He built a watchtower in it and cut out a winepress as well. Then he looked for a crop of good grapes, but it yielded only bad fruit.

The vineyard of the Lord Almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the vines he delighted in. And he looked for justice, but saw bloodshed; for righteousness, but heard cries of distress.

“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." -John 15:5

Reflection

Have you ever been in a vineyard at pruning time? The place is a mess! All discarded vines and discolored leaves. The delicious, already harvested fruit is out of sight, in bins waiting to become wine. Worse, there is no evidence of the future fruit; it is all still in the vine!

“The vineyard of the Lord almighty is the nation of Israel, and the people of Judah are the garden of his delight.” Shockingly, Jesus in John 15 refers to believers as God’s vineyard. Going further in John 15 Jesus let’s us in on his plans for us.

  • We will bear fruit. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.” John 15:5a

  • We must bear fruit. “I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” John 15:16

  • To bear fruit, we must remain in him. “No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.” John 15:4.

  • Finally, every believer who bears fruit will be pruned. “…every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful." John 15:2

Why prune a branch? So that it will be even more fruitful! Pruning is messy and sometimes painful. According to Jesus it is necessary for the advancement of his kingdom plan. In this season our lives may be messy, and likely will get painful for a while. Perhaps it is simply the Gardner, pruning his vines for wine sweeter than Cana. (John 2)

 

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