“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. [a] and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
– – John 15:1-8
The Old Testament was intended to point humankind to God, specifically the person of Jesus. The apostles understood this better as time went by and that is why they made a lot of references to the Old testament in their epistles. When we read the letters of the New Testament, we observe the writers referring to the Old Testament as foreshadowing Christ.
The old testament referred to Israel as God’s Vine: “You transplanted a vine from Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it” (Ps. 80:8).
Then Jesus stated he was God’s Vine: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener” (John 15:1).
It was stunning for the average Jew to hear his bold declaration. He was stating that he was God’s choice and not Israel.
It is believed that Jesus may have spoken said these words while standing beneath the gate to the entrance of Herod’s Temple. Herod had built a golden vine that stretched across the top of the gate and he gave instructions that the gate should never be closed. Possibly he used the golden vine as an illustration for his sermon. When Jesus shared that He was the “true” vine and that His Father was the husbandman of the vineyard, he was revealing a truth about what He came to fulfill. This truth placed Jesus in the position above the gate, as the way and entrance to the Father.
Jesus being the vine and we are the branches on that vine. It is the branch that bears the fruit. We can only bear much fruit because we abide in Him. This just reveals a glorious truth: That believers produce good works because of Jesus; not because of their efforts. It is our connection to Him and to his grace in us that produces in us glorious results.
For us to produce more fruits it would be a wrong step to think of increasing our good works. A man’s life would reflect good fruits to the extent that he beholds more of Jesus because in reality bringing forth much fruits speaks more of more of Jesus showing forth in your life.
If you are not producing the works of righteousness in your life, no amount of effort on your part will begin to bring forth a harvest. It will only result in more frustration and misery. The solution is simple. Hear the words of Jesus as He speaks of His love and grace into your life. As you expose yourself to this, you will be abiding in His finished work, and He will transform you into such a beauty.
There are many believers who are not bringing forth any fruit at all, and they are often removed before they had to be, so that they do no damage to the body of Christ (John 15:2) as they don’t represent the body properly and don’t discern the body (1 Corinthians 11:29).
There are others who bring forth some fruit, but not much. Christ purges them so that they will produce even more for the kingdom. That is why he prunes them.
When you bear much fruit for the kingdom, you bring forth much glory to the Father (John 15:8). This fruit manifests itself as, “the fruit of the Spirit”, which is “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22, 23).
Notice that it is actually the word “fruit”, and not the “fruits”. It’s not a situation of you developing and producing various at your intended goal. These virtues come in equal measure by the Holy Spirit. We cannot walk in one but not in the other. It is actually love that enables the others to find expression. The Holy Spirit knows how to grow us in each one at the right pace as he establishes us in the love of the Father.
If you desire to see more fruit in your Christian walk then see more of Jesus! As your heart is established in His love, your heart will produce His fruits. When you proclaim Christ Jesus and His finished work, you allow the husbandman (the father) of the vineyard to prune away your dependence on yourself and dead works. This will leave you only with Christ in you.
RELAX and ENJOY the journey because fruit grows naturally, not by screaming at the tree. He is working in you that which is well pleasing his sight (Hebrews 13:21).