Day 18: John 15
Vine and Branches
The Cross is coming, Jesus knows exactly what lies ahead.
The Disciples are questioning, “Where is He going , are we not going too, who is He going to send?”.
The religious rulers (not all) have murderous intent.
The stage is set for the turning point of history,
At this point Jesus talks to His disciple about something they are very familiar with, rows and rows of vines heavy with fruit. John is writing his gospel as an old man and it’s an image he has not forgotten, Jesus the vine, His followers the fruit bearing branches, and Father God the husbandman, and the joy that comes from a good crop.
Do you ever think about what fruit your life is producing? I wonder what we expect of ourselves. It’s easy to look back through history and see the BIG fruit that has been produced from the lives of Christians in the past. It was a Christian that brought about prison reform, that masterminded the abolishing of slavery, not to mention schools and hospitals of every sort. And not least, translated the Bible into English for us all to read (of course that would have to be a Yorkshire man, there is a plaque in Richmond Market Place}.
So, what is our fruit ? I think it’s every time we choose to do what Gods word says is right and it goes against what WE want. I think it’s every time we CHOOSE to forgive when our feelings are raw. It’s every time we give time and care to someone its NOT easy to like, let alone love.
I have found, (often after a bit of “pruning” ), that I don’t have nearly enough love or understanding or goodness to bring about much joy to the Father heart of God. BUT I have also discovered, that if I draw on Jesus love, understanding, goodness, fruit begins to grow , in me and my circumstances.
Jesus tells His disciples, and us, to ABIDE if we want to bring joy to the Fathers heart. In verse 7 (MSG) we are told to “make ourselves at home in Jesus and His words…” that’s ABIDING. Sharing our everyday, ordinary, life with Jesus.
Colossians 3 (MSG) puts it well
“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you, compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline . Be even tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offence. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be with out it”.
As “chosen friends of Jesus” v 15 and “remaining in His love”, we can become “good fruit” and not “dead wood”.
John 13:35 says ”by this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another”.