Day 8: The Gardener

Pruning Stock Photos And Images - 123RF
John 15:1-2
“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.” -

What would you say to your closest friends if you knew you only had a few more moments with them?
We’ve been following some of the very last words Jesus spoke to His disciples and closest friends before He was crucified. The context of this conversation is heavy; His goal is to give them peace about troubles and persecution to come, joy in the midst of grief, expectation for the Holy Spirit, to give an understanding of how the Trinity works together in unison, and - don’t miss this - to teach them what they should do when it feels like He isn’t with them anymore. 

In a very real sense, Jesus would leave earth, yet He promises the disciples that He’ll be with them always. So now He begins to paint a picture of what this will look like for them in the very near future. This is the context in which Jesus begins to speak words of a vineyard and a careful gardener. He 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.”

When you read this passage how does Jesus’ words impact you? Perhaps this passage conjures up questions like, “am I a branch to be trimmed and or thrown away?”, “am I really saved?”, “can I lose my salvation?”, or “am I disconnected from God?”; it’s ironic that Jesus is intending to do the opposite by sharing these words with His disciples.

In the context we read this Jesus is saying, ‘It’s going to feel like I’m gone because I’m leaving this body; this is how you know I’m still with you: I am the Source of all that you do; like a vine is to branches. And my Father pays careful attention to each and every one of you, like a gardener pays careful attention to each branch and tends to them well.’

At a time when it can feel like Jesus is not with us as we look at the world around us, He gives that same promise to us. Let us be reminded today that we have an unending Source of joy, steadfastness, and kindness. And let us be reminded that we have a loving Father who tends to us carefully and thoughtfully, like a good gardener to his vineyard; he does so for our ultimate good. Let us not only remind ourselves of these truths - but let us experience them fully today by simply abiding; making space for the relationship and abundant life that He offers us.

Prayer Prompts
  1. Think on the word picture Jesus gives in John 15:1-2. Reflect on your role, and the role of the Trinity in bearing fruit - in you and around you.
  2. Reflect specifically on the picture that God is a gardener who tends carefully to His vineyard. What does this say about God? Respond in the form of a prayer to Him.
  3. Read Galatians 5:21-22. Simply ask God to bear this fruit within you; knowing that it is the work of the Trinity to accomplish within you.
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