Grape Expectations

Jesus’ last lesson for His disciples was about — grapes.

Jesus had high expectations that His disciples would understand their responsibility to continue His ministry. On His way to the Garden of Gethsemane He explained how they could succeed in the mission He had given them by teaching them about grapes.

Use your imagination with me for a minute.  Let’s put ourselves right in the crowd with Jesus and His disciples on their last night together.

They ate the Passover meal together in an upper room. During the meal Jesus I firstcomforted them by giving them His peace and assuring them that everything would be all right. Look at the last verse of John, 14:31 …”but so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded me. Get up let us go from here.”

“Get up let’s go from here.” — The very next verse: John 15:1, Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine dresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes so that it may bear more fruit.” Then in verse 4-5 Jesus says, “Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch can not bear fruit on itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me bears must fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.”

I can imagine that between John 14:31 and 15:1 they have left the upper room and arebranches heading towards the Garden of Gethsemane together. Somewhere along the line Jesus stops at a grape vine, picks up a cluster of grapes and teach His disciples their last (and maybe most important) lesson while He’s still with them.  “I am the vine, you are the branches.”

We are branches. We produce nothing. We do nothing. All Jesus asked us to do is abide. Abide in Him. His life (the life in the vine) flows through us. He is our life. He doesn’t ask us to do anything but abide.  If we abide in Him (and He in us), we’re going to bear baskets full of fruit season after season.

But He said “apart from me (if you try to do things for His glory on your own, relying on your resources and your plans and your brains and efforts) all your hard work to be good for God will be in vain. We can do nothing. Nothing we do on our own will bear fruit or bring glory to God. Only what Jesus produces in us, through us and as us.

All He asks us to do is abide.  Just abide. Remain in Him. Trust Him. Depend on Him. Surrender to Him. Day by day. Moment by moment. And our fruit baskets will fill and overflow.

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5 thoughts on “Grape Expectations

  1. Thank you brother! In the past I struggled a lot with the “abide” word. I think I kept trying to make it harder than it needed to be.

    I really loved the simplicity of how you expressed it.

    Like

  2. Pingback: My Article Read (4-3-2015) | My Daily Musing

  3. John 15 is definitely one of my favorite passages of Scripture … have been recently blessed by the three part video message on that chapter at North Point Online http://northpointonline.tv/messages/now-what Even thought the pastor is not Andy Stanley, the messages are all three keepers with the third and final one really speaking directly to my heart. Steven, may you be blessed this Easter season IN the risen Savior Christ Jesus! Bernie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Bernie, I will check those messages out on the North Point website. I am always blessed when I tune in to that website. Bernie, you have a blessed Resurrection Day as well. God bless.

      Liked by 1 person

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