“If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”John 15:5b
One of the wonderful things about our Savior is that He has a way with words. Jesus is a wordsmith, and the Gospels are filled with beautiful imagery about the secure hold He has on His people. In John 15, He gives us the picture of a vibrant grapevine to which we cling like clusters of grapes. His people flourish in Him.
Growing up, we had a grapevine that intertwined itself into the orange tree beside our house. The grapes split on the vine before they ever ripened. Without a healthy vine, the grapes were no good. That will never happen with those who abide in Christ. Our Savior calls us to bear good, beautiful fruit, even though we can’t do it ourselves. We’re nothing if we’re not continually drawing on the riches of His grace. If we try to bear fruit by our own self-effort, our own pride, our own pursuit of glory, we shrivel up as fast as those grapes at my home drying up in the Sinaloa sun.
When we abide in Jesus’ love, nothing can separate us from Him. We flourish because He is the true vine and holds us fast.
“As long as I abide in Christ, nothing can hurt me.” (Martin Luther, 1535)