Jesus is the vine. In John 15:1-5 Jesus tells his Jewish hearers ‘I am the true vine’. They would
have known all about vines, as grapes and wine were a key part of everyday life in Israel.
Families would have seen vines growing and known that their food & drink came from the
vines. The vine has strong roots and a winding hardy core that is the heart of the plant. And
from the vine’s strength grow branches, leaves, fruits and flowers. In this image, Jesus says
he is the vine, his people are the branches and their lives of faith the fruit. God the Father
is the gardener, removing branches that don’t bear fruit and pruning others to make them
In the Old Testament, the people of God were often referred to as a vine - one that God
had chosen and carefully tended as a loving vine-grower. But they were also described as a
corrupt or wild vine, not bearing the right fruit or liking the nurture of the gardener. Into
this long story, Jesus now comes as the true vine, the true person of God, receiving God’s
favor and producing the fruit of obedience. In this true vine, Jesus describes us as his
branches, nurtured and sustained by him, pruned by the Father, and producing fruit.
Jesus calls us to remain, to abide, to stick with him. We are to keep our branch connected
to Jesus. The life-blood of a plant runs through the vine and out to its branches. The intimacy
and connection we have with Jesus, is just like that of a branch nourished by a vine. And
the result is fruit - prayers, love, service - a life that brings glory to God. So at this time of
Advent, as we remember Jesus’ birth, hear his call to remain in him, knowing that the Lord
Jesus is the source of your life & strength & from your connection with him will come the
fruit of a life pleasing to God.