Monday, May 13, 2024

The Gardener


The passage from John 15 will be familiar to most where Jesus uses the word picture of Himself as the vine, the father as the gardener, and His followers as branches.   Let’s explore how the gardener trims and nurtures the vine.


John 15:1 – I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener


Things to think about:

·       John 15:2 - “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.  He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.

o   Did you notice that no branch is untouched by the Gardener’s hand?

§  Everyone is accountable to God

o   What is pruned on the fruitful branches may not be sinful in and of itself, just not the best

§  Little branches that take away from the larger branch are called suckers. They deprive the branch of all the nutrients they can use to be their healthiest.

·       Busyness, hobbies, idleness, fear

o   Of course, what needs to be pruned may be detrimental to the health of the branch like pride, bad habits, indulgences

·       I suspect some branches are going to be surprised they were lopped off

o   Matthew 7:21-23 - “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

·       What is the point of the vine and its branches? 

o   That they bear fruit. 

§  John 15:5 - If you remain in Me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.

o   What fruit are they to bear?

§  To love one another.

§  John 15:10-12 -  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.

§  How can you recognize His fruit?

·       Selflessness, humility, grace

·       John 15:13 - Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

·       What is the point of this garden?

o   John 15:8 – This is to My Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit showing yourselves to be My disciples.

o   God wants us to bear MUCH fruit – and all for HIS glory

§  Ask God what needs to be pruned so you can bear as much fruit as possible

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