Fruitfulness to the Glory of God
Read John 15:1-5
The scene takes place right after the Last Supper. Judas has gone off to do his wicked deed, and Jesus has just washed the feet of the disciples, teaching them a lesson about servant leadership. Jesus and His disciples left the Upper Room and walked toward the Garden of Gethsemane. Passing the temple, they could not help but notice that one of the chief ornaments on the gate was a golden vine with a cluster of grapes as large as a man, which, to the Apostles, represented the nation of Israel. Jesus is about to change the direction of their focus. He told them that they were the branches, that Jesus was the true vine, and the Father was the vinedresser.
I read of a man visiting a greenhouse where luscious clusters of grapes were hanging on every side. When he asked the owner how they came to be so healthy and full, he replied; “When my new gardener came, he said he would have nothing to do with these vines at all unless he could prune them right down to the stalks. He did just that, and we had no grapes for two years. The fullness you see here before you is the result of that pruning.”
As believers, we are nourished by being attached to the true vine, Jesus. To keep us healthy and fruitful, the Father, the vinedresser must prune us, which is not pleasant but is very often painful. Many of the richest blessings that have come down to us are the result of past pruning, skillfully and lovingly applied by the tender hand of the Vinedresser. All believers who are truly branches that are receiving their nourishment from the true vine will be pruned. It must be so. It cannot be otherwise. The intention of the vinedresser, as the parable goes on to describe later, is to produce, “fruit”, “more fruit”, and “much fruit”.
At the time of sharp pruning, when the knife of the Lord is cutting deep, and the pain is sore, and you are burdened with the load, it is a comfort to read and understand; “My Father is the vinedresser”. Take heart precious believer. If you are being pruned, you are being prepared. If you are being prepared, you will produce fruit to the Glory of God. Oh the depth and breadth of the Grace of God to His own!