I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. (Joh 15:5-7)
We have come upon a time that is like it was during the days of Noah where every man does what he think is right in his own eyes. Sad to say that those who call upon the name of the Lord have been carried away in the same unfolding drama. The quote above often times we as men quote it and particularly verse 7 without understanding the context, which is clear in verse 5. It is the vine that provides nourishment to the branch, and if we find ourselves detached from the vine then we will find ourselves unfruitful, unable to do anything, and withered. The end of such a man is to be thrown into the fire and burned.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. (Joh 15:9-14)
So here is where many of us may get off course, if we don’t understand the message Yeshua is sharing with his disciples. So check this out carefully. Here at the beginning of this passage it sounds as though Yeshua is giving a new commandment separate from that of his father. He is stating that he has kept his fathers commandments and he is now telling his disciples to keep his. However, take note that he tells us how he has kept his Father’s commandments and then he goes on to say we are to love one another as He has loved us. So the question is how was his love expressed unto us? It was expressed to us through how he kept his Father’s commandments and therefore we are to do likewise if we are to express our love back towards him. If we understand that there are certain things that love does. Love doesn’t speak uncharacteristically against God, love keeps all its dates with the object of its love (the Sabbaths), love doesn’t dishonor those who brought them into this world, doesn’t have sex with someone elses spouse, doesn’t murder, lie, cheat, steal, or covet. Anyone who does these things we can agree is not walking in love. The commandments of God had to be hand written because the heart of man was and without God still is bent on doing evil. It has been that way since the first Adam and without a change of heart is destined to stay that way until the last breath.
When I started this study on what it means to be the branch on Yeshua’s vine I begin to better understand the very real illustration that Yah revealed to me a couple of weeks ago as I witnessed in the natural what happened to my peach tree that broke from its vine. When I finally was able to get my peach tree to grow I noticed that all my peaches were growing on one branch. It was so full, yet so weak that it broke from the vine. As it lay hanging on the ground, heavy with only a small piece still connected to the vine I watched it stop growing. It didn’t wither until I took it completely off but I didn’t see any progress in it either just barely hanging on. Which is exactly the point we have to be all in with Yeshua or we are stagnate neither growing nor dying. Sort of reminds me of another scripture where Yah says he would rather we be hot or cold, but because we are neither he spews us from his mouth. (Rev. 3:15-16)
So many of us in our walk with God are on the edge like that branch we are barely hanging on and just the right move in the wrong direction will break us from the protection and nourishment that comes from eating from the tree of life in Yeshua. The scary thing about that branch falling over is while the vine is what provides the nourishment it is the branch that holds the fruit. This may be why we are warned not to lose the fruit that we bare. (Rom 1:13, 7:4) The vine nourishes the branch, but the branch holds the fruit. This is also why we are admonished to pray for leadership as we do because if you smite the shepherd the sheep for sure will be scattered. (Matt 26:31) So many people leave the Lord not because the Lord did something wrong as He can never do anything wrong, but because those of us who represent him in leadership misrepresent Him and what is all us, He gets blamed for.
There is a greater work we are called to do as believers and with that work comes responsibility. It is important that as we lead others to the Lord that we do so in the same similitude that He led us. With compassion, patience, and a firm and unwavering hand. While we should never back out or down from the truth we are admonished to share the truth in love, considering ourselves and the frailty that we deal with in the flesh. However, with that in mind we can’t forget that we stand by the will and hand of the Messiah’s vine which holds us and if we should split or be broken from the vine then we will surely wither and any fruit on our branch will wither with us.