Growing up on my grandparents’ farm in Ohio, we always had a bounty of fruits and vegetables growing everywhere. It was common for us to have lots of homemade foods any time of the year, but one of the best things my grandma used to make was grape jelly. The grapevine on their farm yielded some of the best grapes, and with grandma’s cooking skills, we had jelly that far surpassed any store-bought brand.
Like all living things on their farm, that grapevine thrived because they knew how to care for it. They knew that all the growth happened from the central vine. The grapes grew on the branches, but it needed the vine to supply nutrients and water to the branches. Without the vine, the grapes couldn’t survive, couldn’t grow and couldn’t produce the jelly we all loved.
You might have heard the metaphor of Jesus being “the true vine.” As a pastor, I can’t help but always think of my grandparents’ farm when I hear or read this. But understanding how a grapevine grows shows me just how important and true this metaphor is.
In fact, Jesus describes himself to His disciples as “the true grapevine” in John 15:1-17 just before he was betrayed and crucified, making it a crucial concept for them and for us to remember. Comparing himself to a grapevine and us to the branches was His way of telling us that we need Him for growth:
“Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4)
When we remain in Him, we can grow and thrive just like the branches on the vine. And when we rely on Jesus to grow and to live out His mission for us, we can find success every day, no matter what season we’re in. This means producing fruit that far surpasses any that we’ve ever seen or tasted.
To learn more about what you can do to grow daily and to find the success God has for you, check out my latest talk at Alive Church.