THIS WEEK’S FOCUSED SCRIPTURE
John 15:5-6 (NLT) 5“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. 6Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned.
THOUGHTS FROM TSEPO
You can almost feel the urgency in this conversation, that the hour was near when the Son of Man was to be betrayed and crucified for the sins of the world. And as a father exhorts a son on his death bed, Christ is exhorting His disciples here. He is using an example of a grapevine, which was a huge symbol of hope in Israel. The vine represented abundance; it represented peace and joy. It represented Life.
It’s no surprise then that when Christ wanted to represent Himself as a “Source of life,” He chose the vine. He is encouraging His disciples to be fruitful, but not in their own ability. Those that would do the will of the Father do well to lean on Him for strength to avoid the mistake of leaning on their own understanding. A life lived outside of God’s grace (Christ) is not really a life; it will leave us wondering what the meaning of it all is. Many people go through depression; they feel nothing in this world makes sense. Some have lost the will to live, some have given themselves to addictions and all kinds of evil because life has no meaning; all these things because they are not connected to the Source.
Looking at the rest of this chapter, we see that Christ wanted His disciples to have love, to have perseverance, and to endure suffering that was to come. But He tells them in order to have all these things that they needed a never-ending supply, which can only be found at the Source. He promises them a Paraclete (one who comes alongside). The call to “remain in Him” is as much for non-believers as it is for believers. For non-believers, the call is “come”; for believers, it is “remain.” Remember His conversation with the Samaritan woman in John 4:14? Jesus told her, “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” Will we receive this free gift of life? Will we stay connected?