What a vivid image of our relationship with Christ. Plus the potential for results in it. And, of course, the negative consequences apart from him. We have all seen vines growing around trees, on fences or man-made arches or trellises. They literally attach themselves and actually seem to be a part of whatever they’re growing on. They appear to be one. Here, Jesus is describing an even deeper relationship. He is the vine, the one who is the source of life, and we are his branches, connected to and totally dependent on him for life.
All the way through John 15, verses 1-12, we see that God desires to produce fruit, more fruit and eventually much fruit in and through us. Without abiding, dwelling constantly, in him, we absolutely cannot accomplish anything productive or good in our lives. Who in their right mind would want that? It isn’t a hidden recipe. He comes right out and states clearly the means to an abundant, fruit producing life.
We all know that fruit grows at the end of the branches. All the nutrients necessary for growth flows through the vine, to the branch and then into the fruit. And what most people admire is not so much the vine and the branch as it is the fruit that is a result from the two. One of the fruit of the Spirit, among others, is joy. Jesus wants this for you. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (vs. 11). This joy comes from abiding in him. No other way!