In John 15, Jesus taught in a parable that He is the Vine and that we are the branches; that we abide in Christ and Christ in us. He spoke about the importance of bearing fruit and being His disciples. As we discussed last week, the ability to bear fruit is the blessing of Christ.
One characteristic of the blessing is that it is not for us alone. We do not abide in Christ for ourselves, alone. We are not blessed for ourselves; rather, we are blessed to be a blessing. As illustrated in Jesus’s teaching in John 15, walking in God’s blessing is two-fold. First, it involves drawing strength, empowerment, and blessing from The Vine – Christ in us. But it also involves drawing strength, empowerment, and blessing from the Branches – Christ’s Body!
Jesus reminds His disciples in John 15 that part of abiding in The Vine is loving one another. Each branch, each brother and sister in Christ, is blessed – empowered by Christ to produce fruit. Each one of us is blessed to be a blessing everywhere we go. It is essential that we recognize the blessing in each other’s lives and learn that we can draw from that blessing when we are all connected to the same Vine.
Face it – Christ’s blessing cannot be obtained by an isolationist. If you cut yourself off from The Vine, you wither up and die. The blessing that once flowed through you is now good for nothing. “Well, I want to be connected to Christ, but I don’t want to draw from other people,” you may say. Not possible. If you cut yourself off from the branches, you cut yourself off from The Vine, and your ability to produce fruit will cease.
Think about ways in which you are trying to pull yourself away from the branches around you. What do you need to do differently to ensure you are not severing your connection with Christ’s ability in you to produce fruit?