“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 bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
First, what does abide mean? According to Strong’s Concordance, it means not to depart; to be held, kept, continually. Jesus tells us that if we abide in Him and His words abide in us, then whatever we ask it shall be done. We cannot depart from Jesus or His words. He mentioned earlier that He was the Vine and that we are the branches. Without Him we cannot bear fruit. We have to remain connected to Him and His word in order to bear fruit. This is the same as building our foundation. We cannot build on anything else but Jesus. He is the Rock. When we abide in His word it is the same as the man who built his house on the rock instead of the sand so that when the rains came, his house stood.
If we want to continue to be fruitful we must continue to have a connection (relationship) with Jesus. He sustains us. We draw our sustenance from Him.
So, Jesus is the Vine. God is the Vinedresser. And we are the branches. God casts away the branches that are bearing no fruit because they were not properly abiding in the Vine. This reminds me of the seed that fell by the wayside; on the stony places; among the thorns. The seed is the word of God and those who hear it but have the word taken out of their hearts lest they should believe and be saved or those who believe for a while but fall away when faced with trials and temptations because they have no root or those who allow the cares of the world to get the better of them will not bear no fruit. These are the branches that God will take away. The branches which bear fruit are like the good soil on which the seed fell and yielded a good crop. These are people who hear the word of God and with a noble and good heart, keep it and bear fruit with patience (Luke 8:15).
Jesus wants us to be doers of the word not just hearers. None of us want to hear Him say to us, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” It is the same as those who claim to do all sorts of things in His name but He told them that He never knew them because they did not do the will of the Father. Not everyone who calls Him Lord will inherit the kingdom. These are they who are not abiding in Jesus. In order to abide in Jesus you have to do the will of the Father. We have to bear good fruit. Jesus said, “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor [can] a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “Therefore by their fruits you will know them” (Matthew 7:18-20). The branches that don’t bear good fruit will be cast into the fire (John 15:6).
Those who abide in Jesus and in His word will bear nothing but good fruit. What fruit? The fruit of the Spirit which is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control (Galatians 5:22, 23). When we abide in Jesus, whatever we ask we will receive because we ask is in accordance with His will. And when we bear good fruit, we bring glory and honor to God. Jesus made it clear that our good works are for the purpose of glorifying God, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16).
And when we bear good fruits we show that we are Jesus’ disciples. Our fruits show that we enjoy a close and loving relationship with Jesus. Our fruits are evidence that we follow the teachings of Jesus–we are hearers and doers of His sayings. When people look at us they should see Christ reflected in us. It is like when Jesus was here on earth. When people saw Him, they saw the Father. When people look at us they ought to see Christ in us. If Jesus abides in us and we in Him and His word, our actions (lives) will reflect this. We will have no trouble bearing good fruit or shining our light so that our Father in heaven will be glorified.
It is true. Whoever abides in Jesus and Jesus in that person, he or she will bear much fruit. Look at the great things the disciples did after Jesus returned to His Father. They preached the Gospel boldly in the face of persecution, imprisonment and death. On the day Peter preached after receiving the Holy Spirit, those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. God added to the church as they continued daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people (Acts 2:47). Churches were planted in different parts of the world. Gentiles received Christ and were baptized into the faith. Paul who once persecuted the followers of Christ, became a champion of the faith. Once he abided in Christ and Christ abided in him, he became the bearer of good fruit. And that is why he was able to say with faith and conviction, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Timothy 4:7, 8).
Today, make it your purpose to abide in Jesus. Continue in His word. Act upon His teachings. Follow His example. Allow the Holy Spirit to work through you. Allow God to trim away the areas in your life that are preventing you from bearing more fruit to His glory. Cling to the Vine because without Him you can do nothing.