15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. 3 You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. 4 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.
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. 6 Anyone 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. 7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! 8 When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.
Let’s take a closer look at what a vinedresser is and use that comparison to our relationship with Jesus. A vinedresser is involved with daily pruning and cultivation of grapevines. Vinedressers work nearly year-round to ensure they have a successful crop.
A vinedresser prunes. Pruning is an essential task as it removes dead, diseased, or stunted fruits to make room for new growth. Without this pruning, new growth could not take place. Much like Christ as a vinedresser, He works nearly year-round to prune off old sin habits, bad attitudes, and hindrances to our relationship with Him. When we are being pruned it usually does not feel good, and we wonder why it has to happen at all or so much. Pruning has to take place in us like with the grapevine for new growth.
A vinedresser also is a pest manger by keeping pests away from the vineyard. When we stay connected to Christ, He protects us from our enemies. When we under the shelter and protection of the Lord, we are protected from our enemies.
Vinedressers must also closely monitor the vineyard to ensure each is receiving the proper amount of water. Failure to provide sufficient water could lead to sunburn, immature vines, and pest problems. We must also receive our daily “soaking of water” in Christ’s presence through His word and being still to hear His voice.
Grapes take 5 to 6 months to harvest. Different grapes are harvested at different times, depending on their growth. Vinedressers must continually evaluate and monitor the vineyard. We must be patient as the Lord prunes us and as we wait for the harvest. After much pruning, watering, spending time in God’s presence, we will see our harvest come to pass. This harvest could be in the form of increase in joy, peace, hope, faith, renewed hope, old sin habits that have been pruned away, and attitudes that hinder us have been cut off completely.
We are the branches and the vine is Jesus, as the source and sustainer of life. The branches must abide on the vine to live and to bear fruit. A branch that is truly connected to the vine is secure and will not be removed, but the branch that appears to be connected (superficially), will be removed. Jesus is the true vinedresser, and He blesses and cares for those connected to Him. Branches belong entirely to the vine, if branches are to live they must completely depend on the vine for sustained nourishment. Many Christians fail to depend on Christ, and instead of being attached to the true vine, they are attaches to their profession, popularity, money, church and ministries.
What “vine” are you connected to?