But since he has no root, he remains for only a season. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, he quickly falls away.
You did not choose Me, but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will remain–so that whatever you ask the Father in My name, He will give you.
Jesus the True Vine
…4Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself unless it remains in the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. 5I am the vine and you are the branches. The one who remains in Me, and I in him, will bear much fruit. For apart from Me you can do nothing. 6If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers. Such branches are gathered up, thrown into the fire, and burned
Verse 5. – Christ returns to the main theme of the previous verse, but here discriminates more forcibly the vine from the branches, and yet holds and binds them into a unity. I am the vine, ye are the branches; which shows that he treated the disciples themselves as the organs of his earthly fruit-bearing; and then draws a larger circle and makes a complete and comprehensive statement on which the very existence of the “true vine,” the “body of Christ, including the Head,” depends, viz. He that abideth in me, and I in him – i.e. whenever the conditions of which I have spoken to you are fulfilled; wherever there are human souls deriving from their connection with me the full advantage of the life ever streaming forth from me – the same beareth much fruit; the entire end of their new life is secured. He beareth “much fruit.” In other words, many of those blessed fruits of the supernatural life appear, which the great Husbandman desires to receive. And this strengthens the position of the previous verse, which threatened excision from the vine to such as bear no fruit. Such, though in one sense “in the Vine,” do not abide in him. Because apart from – severed from – me ye can do nothing. The ὅτι suggests the question – Can the negative result justify the positive assertion? It does in this way. There are two premises: the first is,” I am the Vine, and ye are the branches,” and the second is, “Severed front me a branch can effect nothing,” having no independent fruitfulness or stability. All its powers are derived from this supernatural source, and depend on Christ’s faithfulness to his own nature and functions; therefore, “He that abideth in me, and I in him, bringeth forth much fruit.” The language here does not repress the endeavor of the human will after righteousness, nor pronounce a judgment on the great controversy between Augustinians and Pelagians. These words are not addressed to unconverted men, but to disciples, who have to learn their constant need of spiritual contact with their invisible Lord. Let a believer, let an apostle, sever himself from Christ, and live on his own past reputation or his supposed strength, on the clearness of his intellect, the vigor of his body, the eminence of his position, he can and will do nothing.
Matthew Henry Commentary
15:1-8 Jesus Christ is the Vine, the true Vine. The union of the human and Divine natures, and the fulness of the Spirit that is in him, resemble the root of the vine made fruitful by the moisture from a rich soil. Believers are branches of this Vine. The root is unseen, and our life is hid with Christ; the root bears the tree, diffuses sap to it, and in Christ are all supports and supplies. The branches of the vine are many, yet, meeting in the root, are all but one vine; thus all true Christians, though in place and opinion distant from each other, meet in Christ. Believers, like the branches of the vine, are weak, and unable to stand but as they are borne up. The Father is the Husbandman. Never was any husbandman so wise, so watchful, about his vineyard, as God is about his church, which therefore must prosper. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for a Christian temper, disposition, and life. We must honour God, and do good; this is bearing fruit. The unfruitful are taken away. And even fruitful branches need pruning; for the best have notions, passions, and humours, that require to be taken away, which Christ has promised to forward the sanctification of believers, they will be thankful, for them. The word of Christ is spoken to all believers; and there is a cleansing virtue in that word, as it works grace, and works out corruption. And the more fruit we bring forth, the more we abound in what is good, the more our Lord is glorified. In order to fruitfulness, we must abide in Christ, must have union with him by faith. It is the great concern of all Christ’s disciples, constantly to keep up dependence upon Christ, and communion with him. True Christians find by experience, that any interruption in the exercise of their faith, causes holy affections to decline, their corruptions to revive, and their comforts to droop. Those who abide not in Christ, though they may flourish for awhile in outward profession, yet come to nothing. The fire is the fittest place for withered branches; they are good for nothing else. Let us seek to live more simply on the fulness of Christ, and to grow more fruitful in every good word and work, so may our joy in Him and in his salvation be full.
This is an wonderful analogy Christ teaches us here. The requirement of abiding and connection is paramount for any lasting and true spiritual success. We also get a glimpse of the God’s amazing sovereign power along with our limited yet free will.
We see herein the choice to abide or not.
On our own, we can do nothing eternal. Yet, if we do not participate and feed off the root we are in serious jeopardy of being pruned and destroyed. That certainly isn’t a pleasing nor popular thought but is a stern warning not doubt. No sane branch wants to be kindling for the fire as the next verse warns in 6.
There is only one God and just one trunk of a tree. That tree trunk is God’s manifestation in the world in none other than Jesus Christ. He is it. Some ignore Jesus thinking God is little ivy or a bush. They feel and may look like all is okay but can not possible withstand the great storm of death. That, my reader, is the great differentiator of all other religions not connected to Christ. It is close and resembles the true thing but is not the same, nor connected to the true Tree of life.
Jesus’s words are stark and clear here. Our work is not easy but simple; abide, remain connected and produce good fruit.
LORD, You chose me first. Please keep me and allow me to flourish. Apart from Thee, i am hopeless.
This tree represented is the true one, basking in God’s love. Big and strong with mostly healthy branches and leaves. The ivy isn’t abiding or even connected to the right tree.
This is my Scripture verse of the year for 2021.
Abide is my inner man’s word if the year
God is so awesome
Wow, after posting this blog….I find this in my facebook group posted 7 hrs ago. God is good!
So I am still thinking about Abide and Optimize. I was up early this morning with lots of thoughts rolling around in my head. I like the concept of Head, Heart and Hands. Thoughts come in, they are analyzed for validity and congruence. The good ones are filtered to the heart to see if they resonate, of virtue and feel right. Thought experiments are made. Then the refined are sent to hands for execution. To work them out in reality. The ones not ready for timing’s sake are logged and pondered.
Then I began my morning devotional time and bam!
Keep it coming Lord. Like drinking from a firehouse or a gushing rock in the desert.