PATH TO DIVINE SATISFACTION: ABIDE IN CHRIST
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned’’. John 15: 5-6
God’s desire for us all is to live a satisfied life. He wants us to fulfil the very essence of our creation. But for this to happen, we need to abide in Christ. Jesus said “without me you can do nothing”. A truly satisfied life is rooted in being in Christ. All that it takes to live a fulfilled life comes from Him and it is as we remain connected to Him and continually dwell in Him that we receive all that is needed to live and end well.
When we look at the metaphor used in John 15 on the vine and its branches; the vine is the source and sustenance of life for the branches, and the branches must abide in the vine to live and bear fruit. The interpretation of this saying is that Jesus is the vine, and the branches are Christians; but it is obvious that the fruit-bearing branches represent true Christians.
The true meaning of the metaphor will become clear if we consider what happened the night before Jesus Christ was betrayed. He had loved them to the uttermost; He had comforted them with the words recorded in John chapter 14. He was also aware of the betrayer. At this time as mentioned earlier Judas was no longer with the other disciples despite the final appeal of love from Jesus.
If we are to further interpret the metaphor after considering the event of that night; the vine is Christ; the vinedresser is the Father. The fruit-bearing branches represent the eleven. The fruitless branches represent Judas.
When we look at this event, we will notice that there are two categories of people in the Church today; the fruit bearing Christians and the fruitless Christians!
Judas appeared to be like the other disciples. He was with Jesus for the same period of time as others–he had even been given the responsibility of keeping the money. He was a branch in the vine like the others–but he never bore real fruit.
There are people who, like Judas, appear by human perception to be united with Christ, but they are not. They may attend church, know all the hymns, quote scriptural verses and go through the various religious rites but bear no fruit and if they bear at all it will be sour. (Sexual immorality, jealousy, hatred, discord, rage, envy, selfish ambition, drunkenness) While there are others like the eleven who are genuinely connected to the vine and bear fruit. (Love, joy, peace, gentleness, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, self-control). Where do you belong?