Asaph, musical Levite, songwriter and prophet, wrote a glorious song in which he described Israel as a vine. “You have brought a vine out of Egypt;” he sang to Yahweh, “You have cast out the nations, and planted it. You prepared room for it, and caused it to take deep root, and it filled the land.” [Psalm 80: 8-9]. Yahweh enjoyed this picture and later confirmed it through another prophet, “The vineyard of [Yahweh] Almighty is the nation of Israel…” [Isaiah 5:7], He declared. I love the way Yahshua takes hold of this picture and, In the closing hours of His human life, locks Himself into Israel, and, equally, opens the way for all who trust in Him to become a part of this vine, thus fulfilling His Messianic mission! [see Isaiah 49:6].
In a remarkable time of sharing, Yahshua said, “I am the vine, you are the branches…” [John 15:5]. The disciples were familiar with the Torah, they knew that Israel lost her way, and engendered Yahweh’s judgement, when, she stopped ‘bearing fruit’, so He was teaching a valuable lesson when He said, “As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” [v4 italics added]. It was priceless advice, a vital secret of successful fruit-bearing, especially important after His alarming caution against the consequence of neglect [v2]. “He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit” [v5], He said, taking the responsibility for fruit on Himself. All the vital necessities for the growth of the fruit are in the Vine, so an ‘abiding’ branch, nurtured by the Vine, drawing on the life-giving, fruit-producing sap which is fed through to it, will axiomatically bear fruit.
There are three degrees of fruit-bearing, the first is, simply, ‘fruit’ [v2]; then ‘more fruit’ [v2] and, finally, ‘much fruit’ which, interestingly, is the sign of discipleship[v8]. We bear fruit in the areas of conduct and character and Yahshua works in His own timing to bring about fulness and maturity. Our connection with Yahshua is unique, and we abide in Him as we remain in communication and fellowship with Him; and in abiding we become fruit-bearers.
Photo by MAKY_OREL