Did you know that there are over 10,000 varieties of wine grapes grown around the world? That is a lot of grapes.
All those grapes produce wine that fits into five main groups. Red, white, sparkling, rosé, and dessert wine. However, within each of these groups there are hundreds of different wine varieties and wine making styles. And even among those hundreds of different varieties and styles, it’s possible that every bottle of wine has a unique taste and aroma.
That’s quite incredible really isn’t it.
I was in conversation with a friend today. We were sharing about Jesus as the True Vine and us as the Branches. It was during this time that I had this come to mind; Think about how many different types of wine there are. So I did, and I just had a look. The above is what I found.
I’m not a great wine lover, an occasional glass is fine, but I do appreciate spiritual realities revealed in natural ways. Stephen Verney described the book of John as revealing two levels, “Ano” and “Kato.” Ano, meaning “up, upper, upward,” and Kato meaning “down, below, lower, under, less.” He suggested that John reveals two levels at the same time, one “up” (the level of Spirit), and one “down” (the physical level).
And so I saw something on two levels today. I’ve explained the kato level above.
This is the ano level. There is but one Vine. That is Christ. That is without question. This True Vine is the Life, he is the fruit. He is all in all. There is one Vinedresser. That is the Father, who makes ready everything for the Vine to bear fruit. That is also without question. The Vinedresser who gives life to the Vine.
As Christ spoke to his disciples, asking them “Who do you say that I am?”, he was encouraging them that the Father will reveal his Son in them to each of them. If you’ve followed these blog posts for some time, you’ll know that I feel the Father wants to reveal “Christ in you” afresh to all. So that Christ can say to us, “Flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father in heaven.” When the Father reveals Christ in us, and we know that Jesus has chosen us to remain in him and him in us, there is something amazing that happens.
What wondrous varieties of new wine of the Spirit the Vine might bring forth through his branches if we would simply abide! First kato, then ano. On the physical level, there are over 10,000 varieties of grapes. How much more fruit on the level of Spirit? Just like the 12 baskets of leftovers from 5000 people fed, where the “up” reality is that there is a limitless supply for all, as there are more than 10,000 varieties of grapes on the physical level, it stands to reason there is a limitless supply of fruit creating new aromas and flavours for the new wine of the Spirit that comes from the Vine.
As the Father reveals to us Christ in us, that he is all, and as we simply remain in him and him in us, there is no limit to the variety and creativity of the Life of the Vine through us. He can and will produce (and is producing) fruit through us of such abundant variety it’s quite literally mind-blowing!
I feel I must be clear that I’m not talking about gifts of the Spirit here. I’m not talking about trying to identify which is my gift of the Spirit, therefore limiting the Life flow of the Vine through this branch. This is so much more than that. The Spirit is the Life flow of Jesus himself through us. This is simply about being a branch through which the Vine can produce limitless varieties of fruit in just the way he wants to. An open vessel for The Life to flow through. We know that a branch isn’t concerned with the production of fruit, how the fruit is formed, or anything other than simply remaining, resting in him and him in us.
Eat the Bread, drink the Living Water. Let the abundant Life of the Vine explode into limitless fruit through us as branches.