“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.”
Fruit comes from Jesus. No Jesus, no fruit. This dawned on me afresh today!
I recently wrote in the post titled Abide that if there was a true vine then it stands to reason there is a fake vine. And how that fake vine might produce fruit that isn’t good and doesn’t matter to Jesus.
Today, I see it slightly clearer.
The fake vine doesn’t even produce fruit! It can’t. And that’s the point Jesus is making in his statements about the vine and branches. A branch cannot bear fruit unless it abides in the true vine.
Yesterday night I was walking home, and these two phrases from Paul came to mind. First,
“Now the works of the flesh….”
“But the fruit of the Spirit…”
Paul is making a clear distinction between the two. ‘Works’ and ‘fruit’.
This distinction is exactly what Jesus is saying when he says “Apart from me you can do nothing.” He is saying that from him there is fruit, without him there is works, which equals nothing.
Yesterday I was very conscious of him saying to me, “Christ in you.” It was a reminder to slow down, to receive him as the True Bread, and to be conscious of Christ in me. What wonderful fruit is produced when we abide in him and him in us. I then saw Life flowing and fruit being produced yesterday evening at a Samaritan’s training session. I know that as these sessions continue, there will be more opportunity for Jesus to share himself.
And not abiding in him? Well, it doesn’t even produce bad fruit. It produces nothing!
Eat the Bread, drink the Living Water. Let the Life of Jesus flowing through us bear fruit.