The Vine and The Branches
Pastor Parkey has been waiting for the right time to share with you Jesus’ final prayer over His disciples and His final preparatory remarks before His arrest. We believe that now is the time for that teaching, so let’s go! We begin in the book of John, chapter 15 with the teaching of the vine and the branches.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 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. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. /// John 15:1-8 (NKJV)
This parable reflects the expression of the Father’s design for relationship with Him and fruitfulness in Him. Jesus equated kingdom reality to a vine. The Father set things up in such a way that everything in the kingdom of God is done through the presence of this vine and in connection to this vine. The Father creates the DNA of the kingdom. Everything of the kingdom is birthed through kingdom DNA. Jesus is the expression of kingdom DNA. This is the way we recognize what is of the kingdom and what is not of the kingdom. Does it operate according to the DNA of the vine? Does it produce according to the purpose of the vine? Jesus is the vine. He is the expression of kingdom DNA.
We, as the children of God are related as branches that grow out of the vine. Notice, branches don’t grow by themselves. They grow from the vine. The vine produces branches of the same DNA as the vine. The Father is overseeing the growth process. What is the barometer of relationship to the vine? Attachment? Fruit bearing? Those who are attached but don’t bear fruit are cut off. What happens to branches that are cut off? It doesn’t matter how large you are. What matters is fruit bearing.
Branches without fruit reveal an inaccurate expression of the vine.
They may be alive and look healthy but kingdom DNA produces fruit.
Branches that bear fruit are characterized as true disciples. Not just some fruit, but much fruit. The Father will cut back a fruit bearing branch in order that it will bear even more fruit. Only a Master Gardener knows how to do this to produce the desired result. The primary pruning agent is the word of God. Circumstances may be involved but the final determinant of fruit bearing is obedience. This entire process of growth is produced through two factors:
The Father’s wisdom and oversight
The branches connection to the vine
Branches must abide in the vine.
Remember, all things in the kingdom are relational. So, to abide is to remain in relationship and not to depart for other options.
Kingdom DNA defines our desires and our requests. When we pray according to kingdom DNA, we receive answers. So, here’s the process in a nutshell. We grow out of a relationship with Jesus. The Father is watching to see if we produce fruit according to kingdom DNA. If we don’t, He cuts us off from the vine. If we do bear fruit, He uses obedience to the word of God to cause us to bear even more fruit. Fruit is borne through answered prayer and through actions and attitudes that convey Kingdom DNA – its power and its purpose. How large or beautiful we are is not an indication of Kingdom DNA. Fruit bearing is. True discipleship is found in abiding in the vine: drawing from Jesus’ Spirit, submitting to Jesus’ word, trusting the Father – the vinedresser.
- John 15:1-8 (NKJV)
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