I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
Jesus was completely surrendered into the hands of his Father the Vine-dresser who values his vine trunk and root above all else, because this is where all his fruit will come from. The Father cared for his Son above all knowing that all future fruit would bear the character of that vine.
Of all the vines we can seek to be connected to for life and truth, Jesus alone is ‘the true vine’, rather than the great many ‘untrue’ vines that that tempt us to graft into. Unless the vine we draw our life from is Jesus there can be no ultimate satisfaction. Our whole life has been created by God in Heaven ‘for’ Christ and no other. He has been planted in the Earth so that we are able to graft into Him and receive His ‘sap’ continuously. This gives us that life which produces fruit! God anticipates a return on His vine. It’s difficult to comprehend that people can be ‘in Christ’ yet not bear fruit.
Jesus’ message is Stick with Me. Don’t say you’re with me and live apart from me. The fruit of your life will reveal that what you say isn’t real. This will bring pruning or even removal from the vine. The branch that draws sap from the vine, yet produces no fruit will be removed because it’s a drain on all the other branches who are producing fruit. Resources should not be poured into unproductive areas. Unproductive branches are removed. This is where the Father’s strength of purpose is clearly seen.
Jn 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.
Every branch comes under the scrutiny of our Vinedresser, the Father. The vine-dresser prunes the branches in two ways: he cuts away dead wood that breeds disease and insects. He also cuts away excess living tissue so the life of the vine will not be used up on such a large number of branches that the quality of the crop will be jeopardized. In fact, the vinedresser will even cut away whole bunches of grapes so that the rest of the crop will be of higher quality. The Vine-dresser looks for both quantity and quality.
This pruning process is the most important part of the whole enterprise, and the people who do it must be carefully trained or they can destroy an entire crop. Some vineyards invest two or three years in training the pruners so they know where to cut, how much to cut, and even at what angle to make the cut.
Elimination of activities that drain energy, time & money is what pruning is. The father takes some things like relationships & material things out of our life in this pruning process, so we are left with what is important. The father will remove sins from us as well, by His grace at work within us we become overcomers. De-cluttering is a constant work calling for our vigilance to remove those things that steal attention from remaining within the vine. We don’t bear more fruit by doing more things. We bear more fruit by doing less of the unimportant and concentrating on the all-important.
The branch that bears no fruit He lifts up. Sometimes the branches lying on the ground become soggy and easy prey for insects and so need to be lifted up from the earth, so they are able to bear fruit.
The 4 states of the vine described in this passage are, no fruit, fruit, more fruit, much fruit.
The pruning process of the whole vine begins with removing branches that fail to bear fruit at all.
As a branch in Christ you cannot remain untouched by the pruning shears of the Father. Whatever fruit you are bearing right now, the father knows it can be more if he can prune you, so some of the branches that have previously borne fruit will disappear.