John 15:2, Jesus declares, He cuts away every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit.
That verse has always been a bit peculiar to me. What could that possibly mean, that God removes every branch that does produce fruit!? To me that doesn’t sound like the loving, caring, compassionate God I’ve been lead to believe that He is.
If you’re just joining me in this quest through John 15, you’ve missed a few things and you should check out the other posts I’ve already written on this text. You can find them here, here, and here. There’s just so much contained in this passage of Scripture that Jesus unleashes on his few, during these last hours of his life on earth.
In preparation for preaching this message, I did some research on the original wording that Jesus used and what I found was simply astounding. What he said wasn’t to “cut off” at all. The word he said was the Greek word “airo”, which means, to raise from the ground, or to raise upwards, elevate, to lift up.
He was clearing identifying that this caring Gardner is walking through the vineyard looking for these branches that have somehow fallen off their trellis. A vine can’t grow anything when it’s on the ground. It’s going to be trampled. Animals are going to get to it and destroy it.
It hasn’t become worthless that it needs to be “cut off” and thrown away, no it just needs to be repositioned so it can produce fruit!
This realization was shocking to me! The problem is not the branch, the problem is the trellis! It didn’t hold up. You, being the branch, are at the full mercy of this gracious Gardner to ensure you are in a proper position of bearing fruit!
When you get a moment, read through this passage again, see for yourself the care of this Father! It’s simply amazing how gracious and patient he is with us, the branches.
I want to point something else out to you that seems to be confusing. The only thing Jesus tells people to do in that passage is to be a branch. I know there’s a lot of descriptive wording about bearing fruit and all that goodness, but the only responsibility we have is to be a branch. The fruit-bearing is up to the Gardner. Rest in that reality.
David wrote in Psalm 1:1-3. David declares right there a profound and freeing truth that we all should strive to understand. It’s the fact that we bear fruit in season. Let me tell you, my friend, seasons change and that means there will be times in your life that you don’t bear any fruit.
Maybe you’re going through one of those seasons right now and with everything you’ve got, you’re wondering how you get back to that fruit-bearing season. Just remember whose job it is to produce the fruit.
You just be a branch.
Be a really good branch.
One that stays strong, and connected to the Vine.
There you are, becoming a wicked awesome branch and before long, you’ll bear fruit again.