The word “Christian” means different things to different people... if we get our information from the biblical material, there is no doubt that the Christian life is a dancing, leaping, daring life. — Eugene Peterson
Grapes and grapevines were important back in Jesus’ day—very important. They were an essential part of the people’s lives—a vital source of nourishment and nutrients. But grapes and grapevines were important in ways that were more than physical. Symbolically, they represented provision, abundance, and life itself.
One day Jesus and His disciples were walking past the Jewish temple, a magnificent structure which was decorated with grapes and vines. As they gazed up at that incredible building, He made an amazing claim:
“I am the true vine.” (John 15:1)
The disciples likely scratched their heads at this. What in the world does He mean?! Anyone else who overheard this claim would have been shocked by His apparent arrogance. Who does this guy think He is?!
Thankfully, Jesus didn’t leave them all hanging in the confusion. Like a school teacher to her children, He carefully explained it all with simple words and painted a vibrant picture of our identity as believers:
- Jesus is the vine.
- The Father is the gardener.
- We are the branches, the connection between the vine and the fruit that brings the Father glory.
Could this word picture help us enter the “dancing, leaping, daring life” we find in Scripture? Is it possible that He is showing us a fresh, empowering, new paradigm for life as believers as we learn to live out our identity in Him?
“I am the true vine.” At least one thing is perfectly clear from these five words: Jesus is making a huge claim. He is claiming to be something that is essential, irreplaceable, and life-giving. He uses the grapevine as a powerful new metaphor to describe who He is as “the way, the truth, and the life.”
Are you experiencing Christ in that way today?
Holy Spirit, open my eyes. I want to see Jesus for who He truly is. He said, “I am the true vine.” Show me what that means! As I contemplate this passage in the days ahead, let its meaning make its way to my heart, that I might feel its full emotional, spiritual, and personal impact. Guide me, teach me, that my life might be a clearer reflection of who I am in Jesus, and who Jesus is in me. Amen!
Listen to Pete, Jill & Stuart Briscoe on the Telling the Truth broadcast at OnePlace.com