John 15:1 I am the true Vine, and My Father is the Husbandman.
This, of course, is Jesus speaking. In this parable Jesus pictures Himself as a vine and His Father as the vine dresser or husbandman. And, as we shall see, His followers are the branches. Divine life from the Father flows through the Vine to the branches. Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life: no man comes unto the Father, but through Me.” Jesus is the connecting link or the Vine between the Father and the branches. All “things that pertain to life and godliness,” even “the exceeding great and precious promises that enable us to be partakers of the divine nature” come from the Father through Jesus Christ to us.
I would even take this a giant step forward. You will remember in Genesis 28 where Jacob had a dream and saw a ladder reaching from heaven to earth and the angels of God ascending and descending on it. Then in John 1:51 Jesus revealed Himself to be that ladder and said, “You shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.” Everything from heaven comes down to us through the Lord Jesus Christ. Think about it. He is the realm of Spirit! He is the heaven where all divine things are stored up for us. Even Ephesians 2:6 speaks of the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ is Spirit and in Him is the realm of Spirit. He is omnipresent. All things from heaven come down through Him to us. He is the Vine, and we are the branches, the recipients of all that comes down through Him.
John 15:2 Every branch in Me that bears not fruit He takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
If you belong to the Lord, then you are a branch, a branch that might receive all that comes down through the Vine. As many as received Him (has become a branch), to them gave He the right to become the sons of God, even to them that believe into His name. John 1:12. The purpose of the branch is to bear fruit, and the fruit is the life and nature of the Lord. All things that pertain unto life and godliness (II Peter 1:3) are made available through the Vine. It is the branches’ responsibility to receive what is available. If they receive the life coming to them through the Vine, they will bear fruit. The branches that do not bear fruit are taken away. The branches that do bear fruit are pruned so that they may be even more fruitful. The pruning is the cutting away. All the different aspects of our worldly life must be cut away for the new growth of His life in us. How does the pruning take place? The pruning comes down through the Vine. We will see how that happens in the next verse.
John 15:3 Now you are clean through the Word which I have spoken unto you.
The Word that the Lord Jesus speaks prunes and cleanses; it does both. Only His Word can do this. His Word is His life that flows through Him to the branches. Hebrews 4:12 explains the pruning: For the Word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. So how can you know if you are receiving a living Word, the Word that the Lord speaks? It cuts! It cuts away your fleshly appetites. It divides your soul from your spirit. Reading the Bible with your natural understanding cannot do that. It will not prune you or cleanse you. The letter of the Word is not The Word of life that comes through the Vine. The letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (II Corinthians 3:6). It is the Spirit of the Word that prunes and cleanses. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. II Corinthians 17:3.
Jesus said, The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63. The Word of Spirit and life comes down through the Vine and it cleanses and prunes the branches.
John 15:4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in Me.
Because the Lord Jesus Christ is Spirit and omnipresent, it is possible for us to abide in Him and He in us. It is His life in us that creates the fruitfulness.
John 15:5 I am the Vine, you are the branches: He that abides in Me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without Me you can do nothing.
I am the Vine! All life and all provision for creating the many-membered Christ come down through the Vine. If you truly abide in Him and He abides in you, then you will bring forth much fruit. This is also true for a church. If a church abides in Him and Him in the church, the church will be very fruitful. Without Him we can do nothing!
John 15:6 If a man abide not in Me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned.
Do not be too quick to think all is lost for these withered branches. Let’s understand the nature and purpose of God.
Hebrews 12:29 God will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Matthew 12:20 A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory.
I submit that all is not lost for these withered branches. We must understand the mercies of God.
James 2:13 Mercy rejoices against judgment.
Hebrews 12:29 Our God is a consuming fire.
Are you beginning to see what we are saying? Our God is a consuming fire that consumes our sinfulness. Fire is a cleansing agent, and that is the purpose of being baptized in the Holy Spirit and fire. I (John the Baptist) indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but He that comes after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you in the Holy Ghost, and in fire. Whose fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and gather His wheat into the garner; but will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire. Matthew 3:11-12. The chaff of our fleshly nature is burned up with the fires of His presence, and this comes down through the Vine to the branches.
Let’s look at one more portion of Scripture concerning the fiery presence of the Lord. Behold, I will send My messenger, and He shall prepare the way before Me: and the Lord, whom you seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the messenger of the covenant, whom you delight in: behold, He shall come, saith the Lord of hosts. But who may abide the day of His coming? And who shall stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and He shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness. Malachi 3:1-3. So, if you are a withered branch cast from the vine, all is not lost. The Lord will purge you with the fire of His presence and consume the things of your flesh that are hindering you. This fiery process comes down through the Vine!
John 15:7-8 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask what
you will, and it shall be done unto you.
8 Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit: so shall you become My disciples.
The Lord will finish the work He has begun in us, and the cleansing fire of His presence is the process. He has no desire to break a bruised reed or a withered branch, and He has no desire to quench smoking flax but will bring forth judgment to victory. All this comes down through the Vine.
Copyright © 2015 by Henry DuBose