Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Vinedresser

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser (John 15:1 NASU).”

[and My Father is the vinedresser]

The Son likens the Father to a vinedresser or a vineyard husbandman; the one who owns and cares for the vine and its branches. The vinedresser nurtures, trims, and defends the vine, and of course feels a deep interest in its growth and welfare that it bears much fruit.

The likeness here means that God gave, or appointed His Son to be, the source of blessings to man; that all grace descends through Him; and that the Father takes care of all the branches of this vine-that is, of all who are by grace through faith united to the Lord Jesus Christ. In Jesus and all His church He feels the deepest interest, and it is an object of great concern that His church should receive these blessings and bear much fruit to His glory.

“Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit (John 15:2 NASU).”

[Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit]

Now from a healthy and vigorous grape vine you would expect its branches to bear beautiful, luscious, mouth watering grapes with seed that they might reproduce. If the branch does not bear fruit it is useless, for where there is no fruit there is no food for the hungry or seed for the replenishing. Thus the vinedresser removes it from the vine that it not hinders the production of the other branches.

[and every branch that bears fruit,]

Every branch that bears fruit speaks of everyone that is a true follower of Christ and is united to Him by faith and truly derives grace and strength from Him, as the branch does from the vine. The word “branch” includes all the boughs, and the smallest tendrils that shoot out from the parent vine. Jesus here says that He sustains the same relation to His disciples that a parent vine does to the branches; but this does not denote any physical or incomprehensible union. It is a union formed by grace through faith; resulting from our recognition of our total emptiness without Him and a feeling of dependence on Him and our need of Him; from embracing Him as our Savior, Redeemer and Friend. In love we become united to Him in all our interests, and have common feelings, common desires, and a common destiny with Him. We seek the same objects, are willing to encounter the same trials, contempt, persecution, and want, and are desirous that His Father shall be ours, and His eternal abode ours. It is a union of friendship, of love, and of dependence; a union of weakness with strength; of imperfection with perfection; of a dying nature with a living Savior; of a lost sinner with an unchanging Friend and Redeemer. It is the most tender and interesting of all relations, but not more mysterious or more physical than the union of parent and child, of husband and wife (Eph 5:23), or friend and friend.

James C Sanford

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