“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5
What a profound and bold declaration from Jesus! But what do you think He really mean when He said that He was the vine and we were the branches? How can we actually remain in Him and He in us?
In this passage, Jesus was using a beautiful metaphor to illustrate the unity that is possible between Him and His followers. He was talking about a spiritual reality that can only be experienced by those who know Him intimately and have surrendered their lives completely to Him.
In our three dimensional world, you and I perceive ourselves as separate individuals able to think for ourselves and enjoy our own independence and free will. From our perspective, we also see that there are many people in the world who are not Christians but who make wonderful contributions to society. We can find “fruitful” people in just about every area of society. We can recognize productive men and women in our educational, scientific, political, economical, religious, and in every other are of life. If you are a skeptic you may think that it was quite pretentious of Jesus to have claimed that “apart from Him, we can do nothing.” After all, evidence shows that countless individuals have accomplished great things throughout history; therefore as a race, we have been fruitful and can be very proud of our accomplishments right?
Well, that is the problem! I am referring to our pride. Our intellectual pride which leads us to believe that we do not really need God. But Jesus knew a much deeper truth. The “real truth” that many of us try to hide deep down inside our hearts. The truth that no matter how hard we try to be good, we are actually sinful. In reality, apart form Him and His divine will for our lives, our many “accomplishments” will seem pretty worthless one day. The day we take our last breath and stand before God to give an account for our lives, the only thing that will matter will be wether we loved and obeyed His good and perfect plan for our lives.
Jesus knew that in order for us to be reconciled with our Heavenly Father, we needed to surrender our lives to His Loving Lordship and receive His Forgiveness and Grace. Christ came to invite us into a relationship of total surrender, unity, and trust. Jesus meant exactly what He said and His invitation remains today. It is my prayer that you will accept His invitation and discover that there is no grater Love than His!