Article # three: The Vinedresser (Part 1)
T h e V I N E : My Father is the vinedresser. (John 15:1)
T h e V I N E D R E S S E R : This is My beloved Son. Hear Him! (Luke 9:35)
T h e V I N E : I have given to them the words You have given Me. (John 17:8)
“Them” is the eleven, “them” is me, “them” is you. The Father gave John 15 to Jesus, Jesus passed this chapter on to us. John 15 is a gift of the Father to us. It is a divine teaching on relationship and it’s imperative that we ‘get it’. Why?
John 15 teaches us two requirements for answered prayer:
1. We must abide in Christ and
2. Christ’s words must abide in us.
Unless these two conditions are met, prayers, though they be fervent, will go unanswered. So we must fully understand the word abide. What does it mean to abide in Christ and what does it mean to have Christ’s words abide in us?
When Jesus talks abide, He is talking relationship. There is no better example of a wholesome relationship than between the Son and the Father, the Vine and the Vinedresser. So let’s look at that association.
We know Jesus was devoted to His (and now our) Father by His speech. He taught us, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Words express our inside. Jesus spoke much of the Father as revealed in the gospels. Listen to your Master in the gospel of John:
“The Father….. the Father….. My Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father…. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. God the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the Father….. the living Father….. the Father….. My Father…..” I will stop here, at the end of chapter six (of twenty-one), having, I am sure, made the point that the heart of Jesus was filled with the Father. That’s abiding.
To further help us understand abiding, let us now find an illustration of a christian abiding in Jesus. Philemon is Paul’s shortest letter, one chapter:
“Of Christ Jesus….. the Lord Jesus Christ….. the Lord Jesus Christ….. in Christ Jesus….. in Christ….. of Jesus Christ….. in the Lord….. in the Lord….. in Christ Jesus….. our Lord Jesus Christ.” Philemon is not an exception. Paul mentions Jesus, or refers to Jesus, about 136 times in Romans and an average of 116 times in his two letters to the Corinthians. Again, that’s abiding.
So let’s look at these two examples of abiding again.
1. The Vine and the Vinedresser.
T h e V I N E : I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. (John 17:4)
It was the 24/7 relationship with His Father that enabled Jesus to fulfill the high calling on His life. Out of this powerful bond one planted seed (Jesus) resulted in a crop of millions, perhaps billions, of sons and daughters.
2. The Vine and a branch. Out of this superior relationship came much good. The branch, Paul, finished his course and has earned a “crown of righteousness.”
T h e V I N E : The Father who dwells in Me does the works. (John 14:10)
“The Father….. does the works” through Jesus. And Jesus “does the works” through those relationally attached to Him. As relationship empowered Jesus, so relationship enabled Paul and enables us. No relationship, no power. Improving relationship increases power and ability. Devaluing relationship decreases power and ability.
C h a l l e n g e : The fruit of your life will coincide, exactly, with your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. You can better that relationship by asking the Lord, fervently and often, to better the relationship.
P r a y e r : Father, teach us to abide in Your Son. Father, anoint this article. In His name. (And hopefully the reader says, “Amen!”)