John 15:4 says, “Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.”
Jesus uses a lot of word pictures in His teaching. This one for example is easy, but a profound lesson for us to heed. Branches are part of vines, or parts of a tree. If a branch is by itself on the ground, un-attached to anything, can it grow? Can it produce fruit? Does it have carry the life of the tree within it? No. It cannot grow, produce fruit, or be alive if it is apart from the tree. When it is attached to the tree it can blossom into what it was supposed to be, a big branch.
Jesus uses this lesson to teach us a simple truth. We cannot bear fruit unless we abide in Jesus. Just as the branch is dead on its own, so too we are lifeless on our own if we live a life apart from Christ. He is the life-giver, He is the source of growth, and He causes fruit to show up in our lives. In this same manner, we can only exist and sustain in Jesus. In the next verse Jesus makes it clearer, “I am the Vine, you are the branches. Whoever abides in Me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
So you see this is simple isn’t it? Jesus is the Vine, we are the branches. We can only bear fruit (which He wants us to do, see John 15:8) if we live or abide in Him. Apart from Him what can we do? Nothing. Did you hear that? Apart from living closely with Jesus in this life you and I can do nothing. That is a serious call to live close to Christ. Are you? Am I? Do we do all we need to do to be closer to Him? Sure there is always room for improvement, but we must see that we are not neutral agents in life. We are either progressing toward Christ, or digressing away from Him – there is not fence sitting here.
It’s all about Jesus, it’s only about Jesus, it’s always about Jesus. If you want to be like Him and love Him it’s because you see much in Christ that is worthy of admiration and allegiance. If you don’t want to be like Him or don’t love Him that is because you don’t see Him as worthy of anything from you. Which are you?
Hear Jesus again: “Apart from Me you can do nothing.” The call here is one that will take all of you for your whole life. “Abide in Me” from this time forth and forevermore. Abide in Christ, He is home. He has always been home.