LENT 2020 - Jesus Said: I Am The True Vine, Part I
Monday, March 16 2020
He is the Omniscient One.
He knows all things - He understands all things - He fathoms all things. Absolutely nothing is beyond His awareness and comprehension.
When He walked this earth 2000+ years ago, He spoke to people of great things like life, the world, salvation, resurrection and truth.
But He always spoke of them with simple words and images that His listeners could easily understand. He spoke of the “bread” of life - the “light” of the world - “doors” and “sheep” - “good shepherds” - path-“ways”…
And one evening in Jerusalem, sitting at His last Passover meal with His twelve disciples, eating bread and drinking wine, He spoke these words:
“I AM THE TRUE VINE,
and my Father is the gardener…
Remain in me, and I will 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.
I AM THE VINE;
you are the branches.
If a man reamins in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing…
This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit,
showing yourselves to be my disciples.
As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.
Now remain in my love.
If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love,
just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love.
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you
and that your joy may be complete.
My command is this:
Love each other as I have loved you.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends…
You did not choose me, but I chose you
and appointed you to go and bear fruit -
fruit that will last.”
(John 15: 1, 4-5, 8-13, 16)
The twelve disciples were well familiarized with vineyards, and vines, and gardeners, and grapes. No doubt in their three years of walking around Israel with their Master, they had wandered through numerous vineyards, eaten many grapes, and had some wine. For JESUS to state that He was THE TRUE VINE would not have been a foreign concept to them.
So what does it all mean? I certainly don’t pretend to have any conclusive answers, but here are my thoughts and reflections (with help from Bruce Wilkinson’s Secrets of the Vine)…
God the Father is the gardener or the vine-dresser - the vineyard-owner and the vineyard-keeper. He is the one who cleans and lifts up, prunes and cuts the grapevines - and he tends and harvests the grapes. His goal is to coax from his plants the highest yield of fruit possible.
Jesus is the vine, “the trunk of the plant that grows out of the ground. Vineyard-keepers traditionally keep the vine at waist height… The vine ends in a large gnarl from which the branches grow in either direction along the trellis.” (pg.19)
You and I are the branches of the vine. “In the vineyard, the branches are the focus of the vinedresser’s efforts because they produce the fruit. Branches are tied to a trellis or propped up with sticks to let air circulate to provide the maximum amount of sunshine, and to allow full access for tending. The vine-dresser lovingly cultivates each branch so that it will bear as much fruit as possible.” (pg.19)
"The True Vine" -
an original oil painting by Marg Lamendeau from Arnprior, Ontario in Canada
Check in again here in Reflections For Living on Wednesday March 18 for LENT 2020 - JESUS SAID: I AM THE TRUE VINE, PART II.
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