Jesus claimed to be the True Vine and as we will soon find out, this is a very important statement. The following passage taken from the book of John communicates Jesus’ words about being the True Vine:
I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. (John 15:1-13)
Being the True Vine has several very substantial implications. First of all, the vine and the branches are one organism as they are both required to bear fruit. Secondly, the branches are empowered by the vine as it brings energy in the form of the nutrients necessary to accomplish the production of fruit. Thirdly, the branches are cared for by the Father who nurtures and protects them in the garden.
Jesus demonstrated that He is the True Vine as His disciples went forth into the world and clearly bore fruit abundantly in the form of saved souls. In this regard the were also empowered by the Holy Spirit, cared for by the Father by way of answered prayers, and connected to Jesus by His example and commandments.
One great example during of Jesus being the True Vine occurred when Jesus sent out seventy of His disciples to all of the places that He would eventually visit. The interesting part of this scripture is that Jesus sends the disciples without provisions. Here is the passage according to Luke:
After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. Carry neither money bag, knapsack, nor sandals; and greet no one along the road. But whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house. And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest on it; if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking such things as they give, for the laborer is worthy of his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whatever city you enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you. And heal the sick there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.” (Luke 10:1-9)
Although it may not be obvious, the disciples in this passage were pruned back to enable them to bear more fruit. More specifically, Jesus removes the things of this world that they would have normally regarded as necessary to be successful in such a venture. By eliminating the things of this world they became dependent upon God, and when others witnessed the provisions of God being delivered, then great glory and honor besowed upon God. This dependence is akin to Moses and the nation of Israel wondering in the desert for almost forty years depending totally on God to deliver them into the Promised Land.
The lesson here is that total dependence on God is more profitable than depending on the things of this world as Jesus will provide everything you need when He sends you. The proof of this is found in the following scripture that describes what happened when the seventy who were sent out with nothing returned:
Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name. And He said to them, I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven. (Luke 10:17-20)
So, we see the disciples producing fruit in the name of Jesus who empowered them over the evil spirits in this world. He therefore is the True Vine and they are the branches that produce fruit.
In turn, Christians seeking to become like Jesus should seek to become the true vine for others. Jesus’ ministry focused on discipleship and teaching, preaching, demonstrating power and in general, changing the lives of people for the better. In addition, our True Vine Jesus empowers His branches even today with the same Holy Spirit power that His disciples received on the day of Pentecost.
Therefore, if you seek to be like Jesus, disciple others and by teaching, preaching, demonstrating and changing the lives of others, knowing full well that Jesus the True Vine empowers His branches.