I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
Jesus makes it clear that we cannot bear much fruit without Him, in fact we can do nothing without Him. Jesus used the analogy of a vine and its branches to help us understand how much we need Him as our life source to grow and to bear (much) fruit. He helps us understand that just as the branch can never bear fruit without a vine or life source, we as believers can never bear fruit without Jesus Himself. In fact a branch outside the vine cannot exist but just withers and dies.
So how exactly do we abide in Him or how do we depend on Jesus as our source to bear much fruit? First and foremost we must understand that bearing fruit is not by self effort, it is a process that is initiated and produced only by Jesus Christ Himself. So bearing fruit is not something we determine our self to achieve. To bear fruit there is need for total reliance on the provision that God made to all who believe in Him through Jesus Christ and absolutely no reliance on self..
So what does a branch rely on its vine for, to bear much fruit? There are 3 basic things that the branch relies on the vine for so that it can produce much fruit. These 3 basic things are water, food and Characteristic or character as a plant.
The first thing the branch must rely on the vine for is water. Without water from the vine, the branch will soon wither and die. Much like the branch needs to get water from the vine, we must also get “living water” which is the Holy Spirit from Jesus. Just as the branch must stay attached to the vine to “drink” as it needs, we must also stay rooted and attached to Jesus to be satisfied. This can only happen when we sincerely thirst for the living water and put our belief in Jesus Christ as the giver of this living water. As we place our belief in Christ, He gives us the Holy Spirit and it is that Holy Spirit that we continue to rely on as we continue on our walk as believers
The next thing the branch must rely on the vine for is food or nutrient. Without food from the vine, the branch will also die. Every believer must get their spiritual food or “bread of life” from Jesus Himself. The bread of life is the Word of God and Jesus is the Word of God. Jesus says that anyone who eats of Him will not hunger or suffer from spiritual hunger because they will be satisfied in their spirit. He must be the source of food for every believer to be filled and to bear much fruit. This can only happen when we stay in the Word and look to it as our only source of direction and instruction for living as believers in Jesus Christ.
Lastly the branch also relies on the vine to get its character or characteristic. A branch must have the same characteristics as its vine or else it cannot produce fruit that is connected to the vine. A branch that doesn’t have the characteristic of the vine cannot even remain on a vine and must be pruned off the vine. Much the same way every believer must also get their identity or character from Christ or else they are none of His and cannot produce fruit that will bear any resemblance to Him. Again this character or characteristics can only be produced through the working of Jesus in us and through the Holy Spirit. These character or characteristics are often refered to as the fruit of the Spirit.
It is important to understand that the purpose and goal of every disciple of Jesus Christ is to bear much fruit. It is what pleases God and it also glorifies God when we bear much fruit as His children. When we bear much fruit we also prove to the world that we are true followers of Christ and show ourselves as true disciples.
John 4:13,14 Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
John 14:15-21 “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will bein you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them
John 6:25-35 “And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither? Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. Then said they unto him, what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, this is the work of God,that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. They said therefore unto him, what sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst”
Romans 8: 9 “but ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man has not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his”
Temitope Talabi is a founding member of The Trent Voices currently reside in Austin, TX. She graduated with a PharmD from Texas Southern University in Houston, TX. She works as a community pharmacist and spends her spare time writing to build and encourage others through the word of God. Temitope is also currently working on a series of self-help books created to empower people to take charge of their health and wellness, the first of which is scheduled to be released early next year.
The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author.