Today's Word of Encouragement
YOU CAN DO NOTHING
Saturday, April 18, 2020
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
Nature is a parable of God. Maybe that’s why many of Jesus’ parables are taken from nature. In the parable of the vine and branches, the primary truth Jesus was making is that the Christian’s complete dependence upon God. When you really think about the parable though, some additional truths are revealed:
- Both the vine and its branches are one plant.
- If the branch dies, the vine still lives. If the vine dies, so does the branch.
- The vine can grow a new branch, but the branch cannot grow a new vine.
- The branch cannot produce fruit without the vine.
Alexander Smellie wrote, “The vine is in the branch; no self-sustained life is throbbing through twigs and tendrils; they are dependent for all that they are and all that they can produce on the quickening currents, that flow to them from the root and stem of the tree.” As all life of the vine lives in each fragile branch, and as all the fruitfulness of the vine finds its fulfillment in each branch, and as all the sweetness of the vine is deposited in each cluster of grapes, so all the life and fruit and sweetness of Jesus lives in the Christian as a branch of the vine. Since branches can only live and bear fruit as they abide in the vine, apart from Jesus we are fruitless, withering Christians.
Andrew Murray said it best, “Think not so much of thyself as a Branch, nor of the abiding as thy duty, until thou has first had thy soul filled with the faith of what Christ as the Vine is. He will really be to thee all that a vine can be, holding thee fast, nourishing thee, and making Himself every moment responsible for thy growth and fruit.” Amen.