The True Vine and The Vinedresser


Jesus_namesAre you a gardener?  I am.  My wife and I have a raised bed flower and vegetable garden and a small orchard that we enjoy each spring, summer and fall. We have learned so much about God through the process of tilling the soil, planting the seeds, weeding the plants, pruning and caring for the vines and fruit trees, and harvesting and preserving the bounty.  Without the continuous and tender care we provide to our little garden it would not produce desirable flowers, fruits and vegetables.

John 15:1-8 (ESV)“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. …  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.  If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Raised Bed Garden PhotoWhile beginning to plan for the spring planting season I was reminded of a name that Jesus used the night before he was crucified to further describe His unique “I AM” identity to His disciples.  Using a parable Jesus refers to Himself by saying “I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1-8).  In prior teaching Jesus had declared, “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12); “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35); “I am the Way” (John 14:6); and “I am the Door” (John 10:9).

In the parable Jesus teaches that He cares for and tends to Christians in the same manner that God tended to Him when He was on earth.  God in the fullest sense … that is ALL of God … indwelled completely, through the Holy Spirit, the entire man of Jesus.  Jesus faithfully and willingly allowed God to act on His behalf for His entire lifetime. He never once allowed the human side of His earthly existence to overrule God’s perfect will.

As a Christian, we are God’s garden.  Just as God did for Jesus, He will do for the Christian.  Jesus said we are to “abide in Him,” and allow God to “abide in us.” Then as your Vinedresser, God will tend to you as He did to the true vine,  Jesus.  God will remove your unproductive branches that do not bear fruit.  God will prune your healthy branches causing you to bear more fruit. But make sure that you understand the two-fold condition Jesus emphasizes in His parable: “As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” 

At the end of His parable Jesus made a wonderful promise that you can count on given the mutual indwelling He emphasized:  “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

May Almighty God be your Vinedresser.

______________

Dear Father, what a wonderful promise you have made to be my Vinedresser.  May ALL of You indwell ALL of me.  Remove my unproductive branches and prune me so that more fruit may be produced bringing glory and honor to You and You alone.  In the name of Jesus, Amen and Amen.

About jimdavenport

Jim Davenport resides in the USA in Northeast Georgia, is a member of a Southern Baptist Church and is a retired Christian business man. Jim and his wife Charlotte have one son and daughter in law, Keven and Amy, four grandchildren - Ashlyn (Davenport) & Josh Murphy, and Mason & Rebecca Davenport. We have three great-grandchildren, Rhory Camile Murphy, Rhett Levi Murphy and Sawyer Joshua Murphy. Jim and Charlotte own a mountain get-away home located on Lookout Mountain in Alabama where they spend many spring, summer and fall days working in their raised bed organic garden. Jim has served as a Deacon and Trustee in his local church most of his adult life and on the Executive Committee and Finance Committee of the Board of Trustees of Shorter University, an intentionally Christian institution located in Rome, Georgia. Jim has a passion for the word of God and has always believed that Christian principles should guide every aspect of his life. He also loves Christian music and often served as a tenor soloist in his church. One of the highlights of his life was the nearly 20 years he spent singing with The Good News, a Southern Gospel quartet. Jim served as an Information Technology professional his entire working career of 50 years holding senior positions in and consulting with hundreds of world-class organizations in the United States, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand. Jim remains as President and CEO of InfoSys Solutions Associates, Inc. and is a retired partner of IT Governance Partners, LLC, both of which are “Trusted Advisor” technology and business consulting firms. Jim has authored a number of books available at www.jimdavenport.me/jims-books. His blog has ben read by readers from more than 170 countries. Jim holds both a BS and an MS in Mathematics from Georgia State University in Atlanta, Georgia and completed Management Development Training at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.
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