Page 18 - September 2023 - Truth & Tidings
P. 18

t first glance, a branch is not   and consider the profound and practical
               the most exciting or meaningful   instruction the Lord gave them about be-
        Aof metaphors in the Bible for a      ing branches and bearing fruit in a hostile
        believer. But as with many words and   world.
        truths in Scripture, the deeper you dig,   The Picture that Portrays
        the more interesting they become. In the   The vine, with its branches and grapes,
        OT, remember that the golden lampstand   was a familiar sight in Israel and pro-
        in the tabernacle was formed to look like   vided an instructive and relevant picture
        a tree with branches. We also read of the   for spiritual truth. The disciples would
        fruitful branch, the beautiful branch and   remember that in the OT the vine, along
        the Righteous Branch. The NT speaks of   with the olive and fig tree, was used to
        the natural branches, and the one we will   symbolize  Israel  in  their  relationship,
        look at here in John 15, the vine branch.   representation, and role in the world for
        It is a metaphor the Lord Jesus specifi-  Yahweh. Here, the Lord Jesus, in one of
        cally chose for His final message to His   His great “I AM” statements, refers to the
        disciples and, among other things, gives   vine as well, but He applies it in a very dif-
        invaluable insight in answering the ques-  ferent way. Now, neither His people Israel
        tion, “Who am I as a believer in Christ?”   in the past nor His Church yet to be is the
        In this metaphor, the Lord Jesus reveals   vine, but He is! The Son is the true vine,
        God’s  essential purpose  and  unique   the Father is the vinedresser, and they/we
        means to produce in our lives Christ-like   are the branches.
        attitudes, behavior and character, just like
        a vine produces grapes on its branches.  The Connection that Counts 
          It is one of the most intimate and in-  Our lives and our world are made up
        structive scenes in the Gospels between   of connections. They are essential for any
        the Lord Jesus and His disciples as He   complex object, organism or organization
        gathers them for the last time. With the   to function and flourish. Just as a branch
        shadows of Calvary looming, an amaz-  is connected to the vine, so we have our
        ing time of fellowship and teaching by   spiritual link to Christ. This link not only
        the Master with His students unfolds.   secures and assures our present and ulti-
        The lesson came in two sessions: one in   mate salvation, but it also bestows and car-
        the warmth of the upper room, and the   ries the divine stream of spiritual life into
        other, that we will notice here, in the brac-  us, by which we can now produce the true
        ing chill of the night air as they walked to   grapes of Christian life and testimony. We
        Gethsemane. How would this little band   are connected to the true and only source
        of earnest but faltering disciples ever   we need to be a fruitful branch.
        survive, let alone thrive, as the Savior   The Pruning that Produces 
        departed from them via the cross?       My uncle and aunt used to occasion-
          Let’s walk with them on their journey   ally visit our home for a day of rigorous

        274 TRUTH kTidings   September  2023
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