Jesus’ Parables 8
Summer Wake Program Study Jesus’ Parables 8
Take a moment and write down 5 words that you would use to describe yourself . Study your list. Are there any words that you would like to add but cannot quite fully commit to identifying yourself with? What do these words mean to you?
In John 15, Jesus uses the image of a grape vine to illustrate His divinity. Basically, He identifies Himself as a vine. Did you happen to write down the word “vine” on your list to describe yourself? Probably not, so why did Jesus describe himself as a vine? At this point in the story, Jesus is about to enter in to Jerusalem with His disciples. Before this though, Jesus takes the time to remind them of their belonging; they only have true belonging in and through Jesus. Only when the disciples find their belonging in and through Jesus does He promise that they will reap fruit and receive eternal life. So, just like a vine brings nutrients and all that grapes need in order to grow and thrive, Jesus brings just the right spiritual nutrients we need as His followers. Therefore, without Jesus there is no fruit. This is a powerful and unique word Jesus used to describe Himself – the Vine.
Another word Jesus uses in this section of Scripture is “abide”. Abide also means “remain”. Therefore, just as branches must remain with the vine in order to grow fruit, we must also remain with Jesus in order to see spiritual fruit. However, we must remember that being a part of the vine does not equate to complete security. In this text, we also see the concept of pruning. Now, pruning can mean two things; either our lives can be pruned of useless things, or we ourselves can be pruned from the vine. For example, God can bring hardships in order to grow us and make us more like Christ, or we can be sent away from Jesus like when Judas rejected Him.
Think back on the words you chose to describe yourself. Do these words reveal that you abide in Jesus? Or will they be tossed out in the end? Abiding in Christ does not come naturally, it requires discipline and hard work. Brainstorm and commit to one new act of obedience that you can routinely apply to your life to keep you abiding in Jesus.
Jake Tastad JSAW Wakeboard Program Leader