What does this analogy mean? We may understand the concept that a literal grape vine cannot produce fruit unless the branches are firmly connected to the vine. But how does this picture translate into my relationship with the Lord and the result from being close to Him? Notice the points that Jesus makes from His analogy:
- We must remain in Him and He in us (15:4). This is the closest of any relationship we could ever experience. Every other relationship is secondary to this one.
- The evidence that we are abiding in Him is seen in His word abiding or remaining in us (15:7). His word is having a direct effect on the way we speak, act and live.
- Our prayers are answered because they are formed from intimacy with Jesus. The desires and longings I express in prayer are a result of my learning to value what He wants.
- Through abiding close to Jesus, I learn Jesus love for me is the same as the Father’s love for Jesus (15:9). The flow of this love is only experienced as I remain connect to Him, the vine.
- Evidence of our abiding in the vine is that we obey the commandments of Jesus in the same way that Jesus obeyed His Father’s commandments and abide in His love (15:10).
- Jesus ends this section of teaching on the vine and branches with a command to love one another in the same way that He has loved us! The extent of that love is that we are willing to lay down our lives for others, so they can enter into spiritual blessing (15:12-13).