John 15 (the vine and the branches) is one of my favorite metaphors in the gospels. what a creative and truthful way to illustrate the Christian's relationship with Jesus! i resonate with what the scriptures say about abiding in Jesus. i wouldn't be able to follow Him if i didn't (or He didn't allow me to) abide...this world is too dark, too sinful. I was going to try to break down this scripture and what not, but who am I kdding, I am no Matt Chandler! Instead , I found this poem in one of my books. This poem sums it up nicely, way better than I can say... sorry it's kind of long, but stick with it! It's good!
Only a Branch
'Tis only a little Branch,
A thing so fragile and weak,
But that little Branch hath a message true
To give, could it only speak.
"I'm only a little Branch,
I live by a life not mine,
For the sap that flows through my tendrils small
Is the life-blood of the Vine.
"No power indeed have I
The fruit of myself to bear,
But since I'm part of the living Vine,
Its fruitfulness I share.
"Dost though ask how I abide?
How this life I can maintain?--
I ambound to the Vine by life's strong band,
And Ionly need remain.
"Where first my life was given,
In the spot where I am set,
Upborne and upheld as the days go by,
By the stem which bears me yet.
"I fear not the days to come,
I dwell not upon the past,
As moment by moment I draw a life,
Which for evermore Shall last.
"I bask in the sun's bright beams,
Which the sweetness fills my fruit,
Yet I own not the clusters hanging there,
For they all come from the root."
A life which is not my own,
But another's life in me:
This, this is the message the Branch would speak,
A message to thee and me.
Oh, struggle not to "abide,"
Nor labor to "bring forth fruit,"
But let Jesus unite thee to Himself,
As the Vine's Branch to the root.
So simple, so deep, so strong
That union with Him shall be:
His life shall forever replace thine own,
And His love shall flow through thee;
For His Spirit's fruit is love,
And love shall thy life become,
And for evermore on His heart of love
Thy spirit shall have her home.
-- Freda Hanbury
I hope you are encouraged and thankful for this beautiful picture of our relationship with Christ!