John 15:1-2 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. (2) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
All my life I have been a city dweller. I now own a farm that I dabble at, but I am certainly not a farmer. However, even with that understood, there are certain principles that anyone can understand about Jesus’ use of farming imagery.
Farmer’s go through the process of plowing, disking, planting, fertilizing, watering and harvesting for one simple purpose: To Harvest a crop worthy of a profit! They do not do it just to see plants growing. Those plants have to PRODUCE a product that is marketable and profitable! Regardless of what the crop is, there needs to be more “fruit” harvested at the end than the cost of producing it, or the farmer would have to quit.
Jesus uses this principle in our text today. Jesus paints for us a mental picture that we need to understand. First Jesus says that he is the vine. Most likely the imagery that he is trying to create is that of a grape vine. This word vine, we might better understand to be the “trunk” of the plant. Like a tree, it is that main trunk that is attached to the roots that absorb nutrients and moisture from the ground. It is the trunk from which every other branch, limb or stem comes. Each branch, limb or stem then gets its nutrients and moisture that it needs from being connected to the trunk. Jesus says that he is the trunk, from which we get all of our spiritual blessings.
Next, Jesus assigns the role of being the farmer or husbandman to his Father in heaven. It is the farmer that decides which plants are healthy. It is the farmer that decides which plants will produce fruit and make a profit or will just absorb vital nutrients, take up space and ultimately be a dud.
It is each individual Christian that is the branches of this plant (John 15:5). So the question is: “Are you producing any Fruit?” Again, as we have said before, it is not the purpose of a farm plant just to look pretty! If those plants do not produce fruit, then the farmer will lose money. According to verse 2, God the farmer, evaluates each branch of that plant and decides which one is being productive and which one is not. If a branch is not being productive, then the farmer has to prune it off so that it does not continue to drain the rest of the plant of vital nutrients. And for those branches that do produce fruit, he continues to trim and prune them that they might produce more and more.
If you are a branch in God’s Vine...Are you producing fruit or are you draining valuable resources from other branches? We need to....We MUST be fruitful, or God will simply cut us off and throw us into the fire (John 15:6)