Who and what is your 'true vine'?
January 27, 2014 | by: Jason Shiels | 0 Comments
Posted in: Knowing God
John 15 is a famous passage that Jesus spoke regarding being the 'true vine'. In the passage he makes the point that the Father is the gardener (vine-dresser), Christ the true vine and we (believers) are the branches. The passage is famous for the emphasis on abiding (remaining) in Christ, as a branch is grafted into the vine. This is a relevant picture of intimacy with God where we (the branches) must remain connected and rooted into Christ (the vine) and that this is how we 'bear fruit' that is Godly and of the Holy Spirit in and through our lives. All other ways of producing 'fruit' are either 'plastic fruit' (my own thought!), will turn 'rotten' or just fail to 'grow' as branches are never meant to be 'cut off' from the vine.
I want to leave us with this thought though....Jesus is not only the vine but he describes Himself as the 'true vine'. In the Old Testament we see writings that often refer to Israel as the vine. Jesus' hearers would therefore have been taken-aback by His claims. Their sense of nationhood was very strong and so many of God's promises were pertaining to Israel, some of which we know still remain to be completed prior to the parousia (Second Coming of Christ). We know all about strong national identity here in N Ireland! Protestant Unionist identity and Catholic Nationalist identity (of course there are variations here!). Flags have come to symbolize what people are most deeply rooted into, sadly so.
The true vine however is not Israel, nor is it 'church', nor is it a 'system of belief', nor is it a 'philosophy', nor is it an 'ethnos' or 'nation'. No - the true vine is Christ Jesus Himself!
Its so easy to allow man-made entities, or the 'created' to replace the 'Creator' as the source of our deepest and most earnest rootedness and affection. What occupies our thoughts and desires most? Christians too can allow their 'ministry' or their 'denomination' or their 'church' to replace Christ as the source of all nutrience, sustenace and fruitfulness. This is a grave mistake and it is God's mercy to allow this root to wither and die! This is the most easy mistake to make and I have made it a thousand times over. We can learn though.....
Will you allow Christ Jesus to be your Saviour and your true vine? Will you realize too that all other substitutes for the true vine are just phoney imitations of the real thing, of the real Person, I should say.
We all come face to face with this issue in our lives. Who (what) is really our 'true north', who is really our 'true vine', who and what is really our first love? The desired outcomes we chase or the true vine Himself? the created or the Creator? As we put our trust in Jesus and remain in Him and keep trusting in Him then HIS fruit will grow, all by itself, as we seek to remain rooted and fruitful in Christ.