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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: Shelley Cramm :: God’s Word for Gardeners

Shelley Cramm :: John 15:5 – Branch and Vine

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Branch and Vine

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” - John 15:5

Read: John 15:5

Thicken the Plot: Isaiah 45:21-22; Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 4:16

When Jesus drew his friends into the intimate dealings of his Father’s business (John 15:15), do you suppose they were expecting such an elementary analogy as a branch remaining connected to its trunk? Any child or termite can discern between a branch on the tree and dead wood, a living limb still growing from the nourishing sap of its vine versus a branch stiff in structure yet unable to produce any further life — leaves, flower buds or fruits. Clearly, apart from its trunk, the branch can do nothing (John 15:5) to continue growing, to usher its fruits to maturity. Though it would be less obvious translating the metaphor to real-life situations, the premise remained that the business of God the Father, his fruit-bearing yield of godly qualities throughout the communities across the earth (Galatians 5:22-23), would be productive only as long as his people remained connected to him.

From now on, your attention is going to be the grapes that will soon be wine. The plants have kept their part of the bargain and have delivered to you a harvest of sweet fruit. Taste it and relish it fresh. Of all juices, grape is the sweetest of nature’s nectars. — Jeff Cox, From Vines to Wines, 1999

How treasured their time had been together, Jesus and his disciples, traveling the land promised to their forefathers, teaching and healing the people, walking together. Jesus was preparing them for the harvest yield from what had grown so far; they needed to remain with him. Though his death meant he would no longer be physically with them, they would remain spiritually cohesive and intact, seeing their work to fruition. They would be able to continue to walk in the way of Christ’s love (Ephesians 5:2) because of his pending sacrifice to God.

Prayer: Lord, let this simple premise of remaining in you like a branch remains connected to a vine or tree yield a rich and deep understanding in me of your love, wisdom and fruit-bearing ways. As I think about you, meditate on your words and take counsel from them (Isaiah 45:21), let me see my life as an extension of what you and your disciples did, the ones who heard these words directly from you: Nothing has changed since long ago. Love still comes from you, O God, so that I may walk in the way of love and love others (Ephesians 5:2; 1 John 4:11). I acknowledge that you, Jesus, are God’s Son, as the disciples were convinced, and you live in me and I in you (1 John 4:15-16), like branch to vine.

This devotional content is Day 5 in Shelly Cramm's "Garden Stories: Away from the Last Supper," and is excerpted the NIV God's Word for Gardeners Bible. Visit the Next Section to read Day 6.

God’s Word for Gardeners

John 15:4 – In the Vinedresser’s Company ← Prior Section
John 15:6–8 - My Father’s Glory Next Section →

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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