Branches In the Lord’s Vineyard
Text – JOHN 15:1--11
GRACE BE UNTO YOU AND PEACE FROM GOD THE FATHER AND FROM OUR CRUCIFIED AND RISEN LORD AND SAVIOUR - JESUS THE CHRIST.
Living in a land with no rainy season and only a brief month when any rain falls at all, the people prayed for and then thanked God for the morning dew which often provided the only real source of moisture for their grape plants growing along the otherwise bone-dry ground. It took great care to produce this cherished crop – but it was worth it. No plant was more cherished in Judea than the grape – because every other part of the plant could be used in so many essential ways.
That night in the upper room, Jesus, describing His relationship with us, said "I am The True Vine”. The vine is the plant. In our relationship with Jesus, He is The True Vine - The True Vine through Whom all life comes.
Jesus describes our role in the relationship God came to earth as the vulnerable flesh and blood Christ to establish with us. When Jesus says "I am The True Vine”, He says He is everything. He did not come to make us vines – Jesus is The True Vine and we are what The True Vine produces – “the branches”.
Jesus said, “I am the Vine, you are the branches” upon which the life of the grape plant is most clearly visible and upon which the fruit appears — but only if the branch remains firmly attached to the Vine.
As The True Vine of the precious grape plant, Jesus, obviously, is talking about life. A vine is a living thing - a plant created and brought to life and sustained in life by God. The living vine carries nourishment and seeds of life to the branches which cling to the vine for that nourishment and for life itself. The vine carries the life to the branches. Without the vine, there is no life for the branches. Jesus says, "I am The Vine, you are the branches."
In this abandoned field only a watchtower stood – there were no longer any grapes to guard. As I looked at this tragic sight, I thought how much more tragic is the human life that does not grow in Christ?
Jesus said, "Every branch of Mine that bears no fruit God removes, and every branch that does bear fruit God prunes." The more we use the life and the faith God has given us, the more God increases and strengthens our life and faith. The more we do in God's Name, the more God enables us to do. The branch that accepts no nourishment from The True Vine and bears no fruit eventually wilts and falls from The Vine -- falls from the life which only comes through The True Vine. God prunes away the things that lead to sin and death in our lives.
God comes among us as the vulnerable flesh and blood Christ - The True Vine Who brings nourishment and life to the branches.
THE PEACE OF GOD WHICH PASSES ALL HUMAN UNDERSTANDING KEEP YOUR HEARTS AND YOUR MINDS IN CHRIST JESUS OUR PERSONAL LORD AND SAVIOUR. AMEN.
Fourth Sunday In Season of Lent
March 31, 2019
Dr. Kurt Borows
Pastor, Resurrection Lutheran Church, Catawba Island, Port Clinton, Ohio