Tag Archives: branches

My Father is The Vinedresser

John 15:1. Jesus says that His Father is the Vinedresser.

Let’s look at the second part of John 15:1

“… and My Father is the vinedresser” A vinedresser, or husbandman, is not merely a farmer. Grapes are more than an annual crop that is pulled up after harvest and forgotten. Here in New Hampshire, our growing time is not long. When my husband and I plant our garden, we know it will only be for a few short months. Come Fall, we harvest whatever has grown and we pull up the rest and put it in the burn pile. We do not have much of a chance to get to know our plants.

Not so, with grapevines.

The vinedresser’s grapevines remain with him for decades. He comes to know each one in a personal way, much like a shepherd with his sheep. In early Israel, the branches of cultivated grapes were either allowed to trail along the ground or were trained to grow over a pole. When the stems were trained along the ground the grape clusters were propped up to keep them from contacting the soil and rotting.  Vineyards were smaller and the vinedresser could know each vine. He knew how the vine was faring from year to year. He knew which ones were more productive and healthier than others. He would know what they responded to and what special care each one needed.

Much like us, each vine has its’ own personality ( so to speak) and the Vinedresser knows each one. He has been caring for each vine for years. He lovingly nurtures it, pruning off the dead areas in the correct amount and at just the right time. He fertilizes it, giving it the nutrients to grow strong and healthy. When the fruit or branch is dragging in the dirt or is low on the ground, He gently lifts the branches by propping them up and tying them. He is involved in the care and He takes measures to protect them from insects, disease

So, when Jesus calls His Father the Vinedresser, He is the only One. Again as Jesus uses the as a definite article to describe Himself in the first part of the verse in John 15:1. (See my previous blog post titles, “Jesus is The True Vine”). In sentences and speaking, we use the as a definite article when there is just one of something in that place.

As Jesus earlier described Himself as The True Vine, now Jesus is describing His Father, the Vinedresser, the Only Father, the only Vinedresser in charge of the branches. He is also describing Him to the disciples and to us in terms of His relationship to us, His attitude toward us, and His action in our life.

He cares for them (and us) personally and He is the only One wise enough to know us, to know our heart, to know our potential…to know exactly what to do to make them (and us) fruitful. God alone is responsible for the results. We cannot always see what the outcome will be. We must trust the vinedresser and His process.  

Rest assured, my fellow branches…with such a caring and intimately involved Vinedresser, as His branches, we can experience complete confidence and security.

Bear Fruit

Jesus tells us in John 15:1-2, “I am the vine and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away, and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”

In verse 2, I had to take a pause. I have read that verse many times. “Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit”, Jesus is saying, “the Father takes away.”

Wait! Wait a minute. If we are in Jesus, how can that happen?! My take on it is… some of those branches may “appear” to be connected to Jesus, the Vine… but are not—those branches are “dead” and will never produce fruit. Perhaps they are those who sit in a comfy pew and sing all the right “religious” songs and say all the right “churchy” things, but their hearts are far from God. (Matthew 15:8-9 and Isaiah 29:13) God, the vinedresser removes those branches, so that the “living” branches, those truly “abiding” in Jesus can accomplish their purpose.

Cucumber on the vine

Have you ever looked at a vine? Let’s look at one of my cucumbers on the vine…(Isn’t this baby cucumber so cute!) When the branches stay connected and get all their nutrients from the vine—they bear fruit, they bud, blossom into a flower, and through a maturing process—become a full sized cucumber—identical fruit to what that vine produces. They must stay connected. They cannot just show up on Sunday, grab a few sips of the Holy Spirit and expect to bear the fruit of the Spirit. It is an “all in” relationship. NOT a religion or merely an affiliation with a church.

In both the cucumber vine, and in our relationship with Jesus, we cannot just be “around” or “attached” to the concept of Jesus. That is not enough. I think it is possible for a person to claim the name of Jesus and miss Who He Is. The Great I Am!

I think it is possible for a person to go to church and associate with believers, even think they are doing all the right things, yet not have the life-giving benefits of being fully attached and fully abiding in the TRUE vine.

Many years ago, I had an ivy. I was watering it one day and as I moved it to soak the soil, one of the branches broke. Not all the way through, but almost. It was such a beautiful branch, healthy and green. I did not want to lose it. Thinking I was so smart, (bear with me) I got out my Scotch tape and taped it back together. You can probably guess what happened. For a few days, all seemed well. It was going to make it!

Nope, sad story. At the end of a week being only partially attached to the main vine, it shriveled up and died.

We can be like that. We can join a church, sit in a pew every Sunday, tithe, sing all the praise songs, shout out an amen when the message is good, and yet—be so far from Jesus. We can be attached to the church, or attached to the idea of God but not connected to the Source of life. Eventually, God the vinedresser, the One with ultimate knowledge and authority—will remove those false branches and discard them.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be discarded. How can we bear fruit?

Jesus says in John 15:6 (NKJV) “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him bears much fruit, for without Me you can do nothing.”

We must “abide” in Him and He will abide in us. His life source flowing through us. Producing the fruit of the Spirit as we totally depend on the Vine for all things, all direction, all wisdom, all power to accomplish His will in our life.

Jesus was crystal clear in saying, We can do NOTHING without HIM. And in case we think “we” chose Him. He goes further in John 15:16 (NKJV). “You did not chose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you.”

He has all the POWER, He gives us DIRECTION, He has CHOSEN us. He has APPOINTED us. The FRUIT comes from Him. Fruit that comes from Him REMAINS. It does not die on the vine but is His LIGHT to others. His LIFE BLOOD flowing through us produces FRUIT that RESEMBLES HIM! How cool is that!

We need to fully obey and abide in Him. Hold tight to the VINE. He does the rest! THANK YOU, JESUS!

You are CHOSEN, & APPOINTED to BEAR HIS FRUIT! You are EQUIPPED, now GO!

See you in the garden!

Abide in Me

Jesus tells us to abide in Him. Not just a suggestion, but a command.

To bear fruit, we must remain in the Vine

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.”John 15:4

Abide. What does that mean.

The dictionary definitions are—1: to remain in, to stay stable or fixed 2: to continue in something, to persist, to pursue 3: to tarry, to linger

We need to be connected to the vine. As a branch, it cannot get nutrients without being attached. I remember growing cucumbers. We put up a fence for the vine to grow and as it branched out the tiny cucumbers began to grow. Some grew this way and some went that way. I went out a few days later hoping to get some for my salad.

On one side of the fence I found several yummy cucumbers, but on the other side, I saw shriveled up cucumbers, smaller than a few days earlier. There was no fruit, or vegetables in this case. What happened??

Looking closer, I discovered that one of the branches, as it went over the fence, it got caught and broke off from the vine. Without the nutrients and support from the vine, the cucumbers shriveled up and died.

When we are not attached to Jesus, the vine…we too will not bear fruit. We need to stay attached, to tarry in His Presence.

Abide can also mean to tarry. It reminds me of the song, “In the Garden” “I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses
And He walks with me
And He talks with me
And He tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known”

Oh to tarry in the Presence of Jesus, what a sweet picture.

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