In the Book of John, chapter 15, Jesus metaphorically compares a vine and its branches to spiritual growth. The picture describes how Jesus explained this parable to the disciples.
In verses 1 through 4, Jesus says, “’I am the true vine, and My Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.’”
In the Scripture above, we see the imagery of Jesus as the vine and God as the gardener. 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” (John MacArthur, “The Vine and the Branches”). Jesus sustains us and gives us life. God helps us grow to our full potential by nurturing and pruning us. Each one has a different role in our lives.
As we continue to read in John 15, Jesus says, “’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. If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples’” (verses 5-8).
The picture above is a great visual of what Jesus is talking about and gives us a better understanding of this parable. According to verse 5, we are the branches, and Jesus is the vine. We already know that He is our life source. We depend on Jesus to support us as we grow and mature spiritually with Him.
Jesus explains that as long as we remain in Him we will bear fruit in our lives. We will mature in Christ and not be separated from His presence. If we are apart from Jesus, God will cut and remove the bad fruit from our lives. In Matthew 3:8 says to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance.” We must repent from our sinful ways to reproduce good fruit and prosper. Colossians 3:23 says, “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” “You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours” (Psalm 128:2).