“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. John 15:1-6
Jesus used a lot of agrarian imagery in his teaching that can at times get lost on people living in an urban environment today. For the most part we are totally separated from where and how our food is produced. For us grapes come wrapped in plastic on a table in the produce section and wine in a glass bottle or maybe a box. We are totally divorced from the grapevine growing in a field somewhere.
But if you have ever had a chance to visit a vineyard and seen how the grape vines grow than you can see the imagery in what Jesus is telling us today. Cultivated vines have a main vine coming out of the ground and depending on how old the plant is this main vine can be a big around as a small tree. Off this main vine are the smaller grape bearing vines. These bearing vines are carefully trained by the growers to get the optimum production from each vine. The prune away the sucker vines, small vines that will not product fruit but will suck energy away from the rest of the vine. Even the producing vines are trained and pruned so they will remain strong and healthy producing an abundant crop. The fruit bearing vines are totally dependent on the main vine for all their nourishment and support.
Jesus is like that main vine off of which sprout His followers. He provides the spiritual nourishment we need to grow into the new person He wants us to be. As long as we are connected to Him we continue to grow but is we are cut off we will wither and die. All of us have the potential to become part of His vine. Some however choose to ignore Jesus and produce no fruit. These people are cut off, pruned away from the main vine and cast aside. Those of us who choose to follow Jesus are trained and sometimes are pruned so that we can grow stronger and produce fruit in abundance.
The Father will never prune away those who desire to connect with Jesus. He will however cut off those who refuse Jesus. Those are cast aside to wither and eventually be eternally separated from God. Separated not because that is what God wanted but separated because that is what they desired. God only gathers together those who willing come to Him. He allows the others to leave, forever banished from Him.
Have a blessed day,