The True Vine

A few years ago, I facilitated a small group of moms during our Sunday school hour and we spent a lot of time reflecting on John 15. For the next few days, I'll be sharing some of the thoughts from that study. “I am the true vine….”—John 15:1a

I learned something very interesting. I'm not a professional here, so I could be wrong, but I discovered that the vine is not the part of the plant that we see curling around the stakes or climbing up the trellis. Actually, it is the part of the plant that is rooted to the ground—like the stem or the trunk. It is from the vine that everything else in the plant—the branches, the fruit—originates.

Why is that important? Unless we remember who the true vine is, it is very easy to forget where life truly originates from. Jesus Himself is our vine—He is the one that roots us to life here on earth, He is the one to whom we draw our every breath. Not only that, He is the true vine. Sometimes we graft ourselves onto vines that are not truly vines—relationships, careers, ministry, possessions—thinking that these things will give us life. We don’t mean to, and we may even mentally assent that Jesus is the true vine. But do we really live like it? Do we live in a way that demonstrates to a watching world that He truly is the sustenance and the source of our very existence? Not only do we try to find our life in things that are not truly life, we make the mistake of thinking that we are the vine, that life begins and ends with me, my choices, my decisions, my desires.

I am learning that life is not about me. I am not the center of the universe. Neither are my children, my home, the responsibilities I have, the things I own, or the work I do. Jesus is the vine, and that means that life revolves around Him—His plans, His purposes for my life, His work for each day. I must confess that I don’t want to give up the pseudo-power of running my own life. I like calling the shots. I like being able to make things happen. But as long as I think I am the vine—or think that other false vines are—Jesus’ power and life will not run through me. And if His life does not run through me, then my harvest will be small indeed.

Reflection question: Who is truly at the center of your universe? If someone were to watch you live your life, what would they say? How would your life change if Jesus really were at the center of your universe? Would you be willing to let Him be your true vine? What keeps you from depending on Him?