“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 does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.”
Why did Jesus say I am the True Vine?
It is kind of like if you were buying a purse, ladies, and the salesman said this is true, authentic leather. Or if you went to a Tex-Mex restaurant and they say this is authentic Tex-Mex.
Why are they doing that? They are doing it because they know there is some fake leather and imitation Tex-Mex that you can get out there, but this is the real stuff.
And that is what Jesus is saying. I AM the real vine, and there are some fake vines out there.
To help explain what I mean, I want to introduce you to my iphone. It is an old 4S, an ancient piece of equipment, but it gets the job done. It has a big fat charger that will charge the 4S. But my new iPod is a new generation iPod that has a shorter, smaller cord to update and charge it.
Now let’s say I’m at Starbucks and my phone is running out of juice. When I dig around in my bag, all I can find is the new generation iPod chord. What is going to happen when I try to plug it in to my old iPhone? Nothing, because that is not the way the iPod was designed.
And that is exactly what Jesus meant when he says he is the true vine. He is the only one who can give us hope, identity, energy, and power. He is the true vine. There are a lot of other false vines out there that we can try to plug ourselves into but they are not going to give us anything we desire because that is not the way we were designed.
So what are some false vines we try to plug ourselves into that are not going to give us anything we desire. Relationships is a giant one, whether it is dating relationship or a family member or friend. Substances such as food, drugs, alcohol. There’s partying, status, and money. One of the biggest ones that we as Christians tend to fall for is religion. How many times did I go to church this year? How long did I spend in prayer with the Lord? How many times did I read my Bible? In all of these we are trying to get our energy and identity from something other than Christ, and it leaves us worthless and unsatisfied.
The challenge for us today is what vine are you plugged into? Where are you finding your identity and energy?
Grant Gaines is a graduate of the University of Arkansas and serves as Dean of Men at the Kanakuk Institute.