Sunday Service (M870) | Mount Zion Church | 19 May 2019 | I AM the True Vine | The Great I AM Series | John 15:1-8
Gospel of John recorded 7 “I AM” statements of Jesus Christ. Jesus said: I AM the bread of life; I AM the light of the world; I AM the door; I AM the good shepherd; I AM the resurrection and the life; I AM the way, the truth, and the life; and I AM the true vine. Each statement brings us into a deeper and stronger relation with Jesus as we know more about His love also His plan for us. Now we are going to have a deeper look about the true vine. A vine and a vineyard is something that very common in those days and people could understand easily how a vineyard works. Jesus introduced Himself as the vine and we are the branches. Jesus wanted to emphasize the importance of being connected and attached with Him seriously, so that we can have a fruitful life. This way of life will also bring us into a powerful prayer life as God will answer what we desire.
1 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 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. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 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. 5 “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. 6 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. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be My disciples. John 15:1-8 NKJV
HE IS THE TRUE VINE
The Bible mentions 2 kinds of vine. A true vine and a wild vine. Once upon a time in the days of Elisha, one of the prophets went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine, and gathered from it a lapful of wild gourds, and came and sliced them into the pot of stew, though they did not know what they were. Then they served it to the men to eat. Now it happened, as they were eating the stew, that they cried out and said, “Man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it 2Ki.4:38-41. A wild vine seems good to eat but it brings death! Book of Proverbs warns us: There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death Pro.16:25. Jesus is NOT the wild vine, He is the true vine, who will promote a real life, good health, real strength, even eternity for us! There is everlasting life in Jesus and only in His name we can be saved Ac.4:12.
What is a vine? A vine is any plant with a growth habit of trailing or scandent (that is, climbing) stems, lianas or runners. The growth of a vine is very distinguishable as it will climb up higher and longer everyday. Jesus is the TRUE vine and He will bring us higher and closer to the heaven. We are the branches and He is the true vine, He will send out life to the branches, He is safe for us and not poisonous, we don’t need to be afraid to abide in Him, people don’t need to doubt about Him.
Back at about 2,000 years ago when Jesus was doing ministry in Israel, people felt doubt about Him. They didn’t want to accept Him. They were offended at Him as they knew that he was the carpenter’s son. They astonished at His teaching, but when they knew that His mother called Mary and all his families with them, they decided to step back and became very difficult to believe at Him Mt.13:54-58. Even when John the Baptist heard in prison about the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples and said to Him, “Are You the Coming One, or do we look for another?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things which you hear and see: The blind see and the lame walk; the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear; the dead are raised up and the poor have the gospel preached to them. And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me Mt.11:1-6.” Jesus is the TRUE vine and we must not doubt at all about Him. He is the TRUE vine that brings peace as He is the Prince of Peace. He is the TRUE vine that brings salvation as He is the only begotten Son of God.
ABIDE IN ME
Jesus introduces Himself as the true vine and His father is the vinedresser (Greek: geōrgos, a husbandman, tiller of the soil, a vine dresser). HE is the vine, we are the branches. Jesus said, “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” What does it will take to abide in Him?
In reference to state or condition, the word abide means to remain as one, not to become another or different. Abide in Jesus means we and Jesus remain as one, we become like Jesus. People can see Jesus in us. Believers in the early church were called as Christians because people can see Christ in them Ac.11:26. They remained as one with Christ. They kept following what Jesus had said to them. They lived in Jesus’ way of life. The life of Jesus was recorded carefully and harmonically in 4 gospels. As we read the gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, we will be able to remain as one with Jesus Christ as His way of life is always revive within us. Jesus said: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it Luk.11:28!” Jesus gave us the Words which God had given Him, and we receive all that Words and believe in it so that the world may know who we are Jn.17:6-8. We must always BACK TO THE BIBLE so that we always remain as one with Jesus. Abiding in the true vine means that we must follow and obey whatever Jesus already told us.
In reference to place, the word abide means to sojourn, tarry, not to depart. Abide in Jesus means that we must always close with Him, stay in the same place with Him, having Jesus at our home as a family even our leader and not as a tenant! Abide in the same place with someone will means that we will have a good communication and strong relation to each other. There was a big difference between King Saul and King David. The lived in the same country, in the same land, the Land of Promises, they lived together with the tabernacle, which is the dwelling place of God, BUT unfortunately King Saul did not abide with God! Saul never made any enquiry to the Lord. Saul built his first altar just few years after he reigned as a king 1Sam.14:35. Saul did not respect the presence of God seriously. In fact, we could say that Saul did not abide in God. It was happened in the days of David that he said: “Let us bring the ark of our God back to us, for we have not inquired at it since the days of Saul 1Chr.13:3.” David gave a good example how we must seek the Lord and His strength, seek His face evermore 1Chr.16:11. Living in the same house without communication is not the real purpose of the true vine! Abiding in the true vine means that we must have a good relation, 2-ways communication with Jesus, enquire Him for everything happened in our life. Our physical body attach to one another and all of them having a good communication each other through blood vessels and nerve systems. These systems will promote life to all areas of our body. Abiding in Jesus as our true vine will promote a healthy life for our body, soul, and spirit.
In reference to time, the word abide means to continue to be, not to perish, to last, endure. Jesus said that His father is the vinedresser who will do the work of cleaning and pruning. The grapevine must be cleaned and pruned from season to season so that it will bring more fruit year by year. God know exactly the best cleaning method and pruning method for us. The only thing that we need to do just abide in the true vine! We need endurance in the journey of our faith. We must learn to be faithful in His process. As a believer, we must choose our local church and then make a commitment to root down and grow up in the local church whatever it will takes. We must not just be wandering about and don’t want to be planted. We must believe that God already sent us to the local church and we want to abide there because God will do the process of cleaning and pruning through that church life. For we have need of endurance, so that after we have done the will of God, we may receive the promise Heb.10:36. Abiding in Jesus will involve the suffering of cross as well. All who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution 2Tim.3:12. The cleaning and pruning will never be convenience for our flesh. Sometimes it may totally different from our expectation to be the follower of Christ. Following Jesus is not only about blessing but also cleaning and pruning. However, God asked us to remain faithfully and abide in the true vine.
POWER OF PRAYER
7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so, you will be My disciples. John 15:7-8 NKJV
Jesus revealed the secret of powerful prayer! Our prayer will be definitely answered when we abide in Him and His words abide in us. When we abide in Jesus (remain as one, always in the same place and enquire Him, faithful and endure), then our desire will conform to His desire, we will ask for His will and not our own will anymore. We will be able to understand the desire of God and the will of the Kingdom of God. We will be able to say: Your Kingdom come, Your will be done in earth as it is in heaven. We will be very joyful since our prayer will be answered and always align with God’s heart.
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
What it’s all about?
Jesus is the TRUE vine and we are the branches. Since He is the TRUE one, we must not doubt anything about Him anymore. We must abide in Him and we learn how to abide from 3 different perspective (location, time, and condition). Christ must be reflected through our life. We definitely must enquire Him always and at all the time. Also, we need to be faithful and endure in all of God’s cleaning and pruning process. Abide in Jesus will bring our prayer become powerful as we conform our desire with God’s desire.
Insights and impressions:
Fruitful life is the plan of God for us. We can do nothing without Jesus. We can do everything through Him. How powerful is that to abide in Jesus since we will absorb and receive all heavenly strength and also all divine gifts that He had prepared for us.
Let’s abide in Him more and more. Make an enquire to Jesus at all the time. Feel free to let Him know all of your problem and wait in His presence for the answers. Back to the Bible for all of your struggle as we want to remain as one as Christ always. Even if we don’t understand about His process for us know, keep abide in Him as we believe that God is the BEST vinedresser that will make us grow and fruitful. AMEN.