19. The Vine and the Branches
How the Gospel of God’s
Kingdom Works In Us
The Parable of the Vine and the Branches
(Only in John 15:1-5).
Like the last one, some say this isn’t a parable. Some even say John contains no parables. But I see this as a parable. It too is an earthly story with a heavenly, Kingdom message. Jesus is the Vine, we are the branches. Branches cannot live without the Vine. The branches abide and reside in the Vine, and thus the Vine (Jesus) abides and resides in us.
This shows how the salt, light and lamp works. We function is this type of analogy because it is the presence of Jesus in us giving forth his gospel when we know he is the truth. It’s not our gospel, it’s his. He’s the Vine. His gospel merely flows into us, and thus flows out of us. He is the light of the world. We are just little lights if we have gospel truth.
Living and abiding in Jesus is the way we are to live life. The Christian life is not about function — going to church, listening to sermons, reading our
Bible, praying, and serving. Our lives are meant to abide and reside in Jesus, and allow his Holy Spirit to influence us in what we think, do and say.
The Christian life is not just about DO’s and DONT’s. “DO go to church, read your Bible, give lots of money, pray, attend mall group, witness, and give lots more money.” — “DON’T lie, cuss, cheat, steal, commit adultery, yell at your spouse, kick the cat or be a brat.”
Jesus didn’t come to just give us another job to do in our already over-crowded lives.
The Christian life is about who and what
we possess, and then what we do with it.
This is the message of the Vine and the branch.
“I am the way, the truth and the life.”
It’s the life of the Vine that flows into the branch,
and thus out of the branch to others.
In this parable Jesus says, “Without me you can do nothing.” We are helpless to live or share the Christian life in ourselves, or in our flesh. Jesus also says, “If you abide in me, and if MY WORDS abide in you, ask what you will…” If Jesus said to only believe gospel truth, his words were his GOSPEL.”
Living the gospel is not hard. Jesus says his way, and his yoke and his burden is light and easy. We just have to understand the gospel, receive it, and allow it to do its work in us.
Remember: my purpose is not to totally discuss each parable. It is to only
show the gospel in each parable, and how it practically impacts us.
Next: The parable of the Two Sons