LIVE IN ME & I IN YOU – BEAR MUCH FRUIT
John 15:2 reveals three levels of fruit bearing and instructs us on how the divine vine dresser deals with the branch at two of the levels to take it to the next:
1) No fruit – “He takes away …”;
2) Some fruit – “He prunes …. “.
Then in the remaining verses of the early part of the chapter Christ, the TRUE VINE, tells us how to progress to the ultimate level of fruit bearing and what it is.
Preliminary and basic to all of this, two great truths emerge. The first is the real identity of Christ and the role HE plays in fruit bearing. In the opening verse we have one of the eight great “I AM” claims of Christ in the gospel of John. They start in chapter 6, where Jesus twice says, “I AM” the bread of life. Then in chapter 7 in effect He says, “I AM” the water of life. John chapter 8 we have the greatest of claims, “I AM” that I AM. Chapter 9 “I AM” the light of the world. John 10 “I AM” the good shepherd and “I AM” the door. Chapter 11 “I AM” the resurrection and the life. Chapter 14 “I AM” the way, the truth and the life. Then in our chapter the 8th and consummate “I AM” claim of Christ – “I AM” the true vine.
Knowing the real identity of Christ and His involvement is vital to Christian life and living. That keeps us calm in life’s storms, at peace in human interactions and conflicts, in harmony with surrounding events and the constant noise of voices, events and opinions, and in the inescapable physical pain and suffering that life throws at us.
When Jesus said, “I AM” the true vine, He was not saying that He is just the root of the vine, but that He is everything to do with the vine and with everything else. He is the root, the shoot (branch) and the fruit. “Without ME (viz. “cut off from ME”) you cannot do anything at all”.
“He is my everything, He is my ALL;
He is my everything, both great and small.
He gave His life for me, made everything new;
He is my everything, NOW how about you.”
Of course there is so much more involved in that wonderful chapter, to which we will return later. For the present let us reflect and meditate.
God bless you.
Philip L. Powell