“I am the true Vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that continues to bear fruit, He [repeatedly] prunes, so that it will bear more fruit [even richer and finer fruit]. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have given you [the teachings which I have discussed with you], John 15:1-3.
A disciple shares an analogy used by Jesus. This imagery compares God to an arborist. Whenever human beings begin to sag, tire or wilt, the Gardener prunes every dead branch to stimulate growth. The key to maintaining growth is staying connected to the vine. The vine is Jesus, symbolic of the source to spiritual life. Trying to pursue holiness apart of Jesus wears souls out, like a perfectionist who is never satisfied.
Remain in Me, and I [will remain] in you. Just as no branch can bear fruit by itself without remaining in the vine, neither can you [bear fruit, producing evidence of your faith] unless you remain in Me. 5 I am the Vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in Me and I in him bears much fruit, for [otherwise] apart from Me [that is, cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing, John 15:4-5.
This passage serves as a needed remainder to me that living life on my own isn’t working. Thus, I am dying of thirst, in desperate need of living water. Right now I feel like the apostle Paul in Romans 7, wanting to do the right thing, but unable to do so. Therefore, it’s time for this vicious cycle of failure to come to an end. The answer is easy, let God in to change you from the inside out. Away with apart from me, replaced by Jesus in me.
by Jay Mankus