“1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. 2 He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. 3 You have already been cleansed by the word that I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. 5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. 6 Whoever does not abide in me is thrown away like a branch and withers; such branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. 7 If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask for whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit and become my disciples. 9 As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you; abide in my love. 10 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. 11 I have said these things to you so that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be complete.” NRSV
We must be careful not to get lost in the marvelous imagery Jesus offers here. This passage is not about the vinegrower, the vine or the branches. They do describe a way that we are in relationship to God an Jesus. That’s important, for sure.
Jesus uses this imagery to convey the whole notion of “abiding.” The word appears eleven times in these eleven verses. To “abide” means, “to have one’s home in,” and “to accept and act in accordance with.” God abides in us, makes God’s home in us, and accepts who we are. We make our home in God, accept and act in accordance with the will of God for our lives. Jesus is the connecting tissue (vine) that holds our abiding in God (responding to the care of the vinegrower) and God’s abiding in us (the branches that bear the fruit of the Spirit of God) together.
Abiding in God and God abiding in us is what makes our joy and God’s joy complete.
Be a blessing to someone today!