Among the many parables and lessons Jesus taught us, not one may be more popular than the lesson of the vine and the branches. There’s an overall lesson that we think of when reading the vine and the branches and that is that to bear fruit, we must remain in Christ. To be a fruitful Christian, we must remain in Christ because we are the “branches” and He is the “vine”. However, there are many hidden lessons that we can learn from Jesus’ words as well. So let us study this lesson to see what we can apply to us.
The first lesson we see is that we need to remain in Christ. John 15:4 says, “Remain in me, and I will remain in you”. James talks of this same subject in his letter in James 4:8, “Come near to God and he will come near to you”. Psalm 145:18 says, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth”. God desires a relationship with us. He wants us to love him above all else. God promises us that He will always be with us and near us as long as we are obeying Him and drawing near to Him.
The second lesson we see is to love as Christ loves and the only way to remain in Christ’s love is by obeying His commands. John 15:9-17 says,
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit-fruit that will last-and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other.”
The only way to remain in the love of Christ is to obey His commands. Jesus has commanded us in several way on how to love and stay in his love. Matthew 5:43-45 discusses loving our enemies. Verses 12 and 13 of John 15 talk about giving our life up for our brothers. Matthew 22:34-40 talks about loving our neighbor as ourselves. Jesus discusses all these ways to love each other and God and we are to follow that example. If we remain in the love of Christ, we will bear fruit and Christ will remain in us.
A third lesson we see is that whatever we ask for in Jesus’ name in prayer, we will receive it. John 14:13-14 says, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it”. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him.” John points out an important aspect here. John says that if we ask anything according to the will of God, we have what we asked of him. Asking according to the will of God is sometimes hard to do, but we should always want God’s perfect will to be done. We can ask anything in prayer, but we should ask according to his will.
As you can see, there are many lessons we can learn from the vine and the branches. It’s a lesson of love, obedience, and glory. It is only when we look deeper, do we find the applications of this great lesson.