John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
This account takes place after the disciples had spent three years with Jesus just prior to going to the cross. Jesus is the Vine and Christians are the branches which gives us a picture of the relationship He desires us to understand. You see Jesus wants a flourishing family. He could have picked up anything to illustrate His heart, like a sword, a bucket of water, but His chose grapes as His illustration. Being hours from His death, Jesus wanted to leave a graphic picture of what He desired to come forth from the lives of the disciples, and that was fruit. Christ desired to have His character developed in His followers, and for those followers to be fishers of men.
Jesus said that “If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit.” To bear Godly fruit one must be connected to God. One cannot produce Godly fruit any other way. God created us to be fruit bearing, and not barren branches. Consider the words by Christian song artist Rebecca St. James in her song “Me Without You.” Like a band without a drummer, That’s me without you. Like a year without a summer, That’s me without you. Like a king without a country. Like a room without a view; Like an empty gun, Like a fatherless son, That’s me without you, Like a ship without a rudder, That’s me without you; Like a child without a mother, That’s me without you; Like a story with no ending, Like a foot without a shoe; Like a wasted feast, Like a faithless priest; That’s me without you, Chorus: Me without you, A pitiful sight, Me without you, It ain’t never gonna feel right… Like a war without an enemy, That’s me without you; A disease without a remedy, That’s me without you; Like a crime without a victim, Like a sleuth without a clue; Like an empty gun, Like a fatherless son, That’s me without you, Without you… Repeat
Do you feel hopeless and helpless without Christ? Do you feel that you can truly live apart from Him? He is my only bridge to heaven. Ephesians 4:23-24 that you are “to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness…” Do you see you truly can’t put on the Lord Jesus Christ and separate yourself from Him? We need Christ as bad as someone jumping out of an airplane needs a parachute.
“Consider this as well. Two men are seated on a plane. The first is given a parachute and told to put it on as it would improve his flight. He’s a little skeptical at first, since he can’t see how wearing a parachute on a plane could possibly improve his flight. He experiments to see if the claims are true. As he puts it on, he notices the weight of it upon his shoulders and he finds he has difficulty in sitting upright. However, he consoles himself with the fact he was told that the parachute would improve his flight. So he decides to give it a little time. As he waits he notices that some of the other passengers are laughing at him for wearing a parachute on a plane. He begins to feel somewhat humiliated. As they continue to point and laugh at him, he can stand it no longer. He slinks in his seat, unstraps the parachute and throws it to the floor. Disillusionment and bitterness fill his heart, because as far as he was concerned he was told an outright lie.
The second man is given a parachute, but listen to what he is told. He’s told to put it on because at any moment he’ll be jumping 25,000 feet out of the plane. He gratefully puts the parachute on. He doesn’t notice the weight of it upon his shoulders, nor that he can’t sit upright. His mind is consumed with the thought of what would happen to him if he jumped without the parachute. Instead of preaching, or thinking that Jesus improves the flight, we should be warning sinners and being aware that all will jump out of the plane. “It’s appointed for man to die once and then face judgment (Hebrews 9:27). The issue isn’t one of happiness, but one of righteousness”, Ray Comfort. Can you really live apart from Christ and have a fruitful life of righteousness, or have you accepted His words, “Apart from me you can do nothing?”
Application: Think about it.
Check out www.livingwaters.com/witnessingtool/gospelwhynotpreachJesusgives.shtml, Blessings, Pastor Phil