My parents are gardening a lot. They have different fruit trees, vegetable and berries. And when I still lived in Ukraine with my parents I helped them a lot too. For many of the tree the pruning process is vitally important and has to be done regularly, and timely. Roses, for example, has to be pruned every autumn with the first colds. The proper and careful pruning will strengthen their immune system, increase their longevity and perseverance during cold winters.
The gardener’s task is to determine the branches that need to be pruned, to cut off. For the roses they are:
- the dry and damaged branches
- the young undeveloped branches and inflorescence
- the old branches, which gives no more sprouts, nor flowers
- the branches what make an obstacle in development of others
The pruning process looks very rough and brutal, and even to the eye of unexperienced one will look like it destroys the plant. But, indeed, this process is absolutely necessary for the wellness of the plant. After all, it gives beautiful result the very next season.
2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. // John 15:2 KJV
In the beginning of this chapter, Jesus Christ said: “I am the true vine“. This is the seventh and the last the “I am” statements of Jesus in the Book of John. The seven “I am” statements affirm His absolute deity, complete authority and ability to save. In the same verse, Jesus said: “my Father is the husbandman” or in other translation “vinedresser” (John 15:1). And as a good and wise husbandman looks after his vineyard, our God looks after His church, so it will bring forth good fruits.
To be a true Christian means to bear good fruits. And Jesus said, “every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away“. The bad Christian, who brings no fruits, ultimately will be cut off, cast into the fire and burned (John 15:6), just like those branches of the roses or the vine. It is not just unfruitful ones, that God takes care of, He will purge the fruitful ones too, so they may bring forth more fruit. God, as a good father, will chastise and temper His children, so they will grow with strong faith and will be ready for the hostility of this world.
It is out of great love, that our Heavenly Father prunes His saints. He will bring whatever pressure on the believer that will be needed in order to strengthen his immune system of a Christian, to make him more fruitful, more productive and bring the witness into the world.
Jesus is the vine, and we are His branches. The branches cannot exist on their own, they abide in the vine. The Greek word “abide” means “continue” or “remain“. Jesus said, that he that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit. In other words, he that “continue in my word” are “my disciples indeed” (see John 8:31).
The Henry Morris Study Bible comments says, “abiding in Christ is not some mystical concept but simply adhering strictly to the words of Christ as found in the Scriptures, guarding them as true and authoritative in every respect, and seeking to obey them by God’s help”.
This is the time for your journaling. Reflect on these questions. Ask the Holy Spirit to test your faith and your walk with Christ.
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? — 2 Corinthians 13:5 KJV
- Do you abide in Christ?
- How does your Christian life looks like?
- Do you grow in faith?
- What kind of fruits do you bring forth?
- Find the other six “I am” statements of Jesus Christ in the Gospel of John (vv. 6:35, 8:12, 10:9, 10:11, 11:25, 14:6)
Dear Heavenly Father, we praise Your name above all other names. We thank You, Lord God, for who You are. You are the bread of life, you are the light, the truth, and the only way! We thank You, Lord, that You are taking care of us, like a good husbandman taking care of his vineyard. We pray that the Holy Spirit will convict us to abide in the word of our Lord Jesus Christ daily, to obey Your commandments and to bring more fruits for Your greater glory.
We pray in Jesus name, Amen.