“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.”
Indeed, God is like the owner of a vineyard, who planted His people Israel in good soil:
“You brought a vine out of Egypt; you drove out the nations and planted it. You cleared the ground for it; it took deep root and filled the land.”
And yet, despite all His faithful care, His people quickly went astray. Listen to what the divine vinedresser asks them:
“I planted you a choice vine, wholly of pure seed. How then have you turned degenerate and become a wild vine?”
“When I looked for it to yield grapes, why did it yield wild grapes?”
The answer is sin. Instead of the fruit of lips that praise His name, our unassisted hearts naturally produce wickedness.
“For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah; their grapes are grapes of poison; their clusters are bitter.”
We have all become cut off, useless vines that are charred on either end by our sin:
“When the fire has consumed both ends of it, and the middle of it is charred, is it useful for anything? Behold, when it was whole, it was used for nothing. How much less, when the fire has consumed it and it is charred, can it ever be used for anything!”
But Jesus is different. He is like the vines of the promised land, whose grape clusters grew so large that they had to be carried on a pole by two men. He yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness, and that in infinite abundance.
But most amazing of all is that He was plucked up and cast away in our place! Of Him it was written:
“The vine was plucked up in fury, cast down to the ground; the east wind dried up its fruit; they were stripped off and withered.”
Like Naboth, He was killed in His own vineyard, although He was the son and heir of everything. But now He lives forever, and allows even those who killed Him to be grafted into Himself and bear fruit.
Thank you, Lord, that I don’t have to be a vine, but may instead be one of your branches!
“Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”