An Abundance of Fruit | Morning Routine for November 16

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that…

I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. 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. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. —John 15:1–8 (ESV)

Most plants produce a crop such as a fruit or vegetable. Vines are no different. Branches proceed out from the vine and fruit can be plucked from the branches. So, the fruit-bearing comes from the vine and is yielded at the branch. Unsurprisingly, the power to bear spiritual fruit in our lives as Christians resides solely in Jesus, who today’s passage calls the True Vine. Those who abide in Him will bear much fruit. The amount of fruit being produced is progressive in John 15. Jesus’ disciples are called to not just bear fruit (15:2a), but they are called to bear more fruit (15:2b), and even more fruit (15:5, 8)! The Vinedresser delights in seeing the branches of His True Vine lavishly clothed with rich fruit that is pleasant to the eye (15:8). He is glorified from the overgrowth of fruit.

What exactly the fruit symbolizes is not identified in John 15, but clues are found elsewhere in Scripture. In Isaiah 5, Israel is depicted as God’s vineyard, and God loved it. He prepared the vineyard to be on a “fertile hill.” He carefully tilled it and cleared all of the stones. The soil was planted with handpicked vines, and God placed a watchtower within it for protection. However, the vineyard didn’t produce good grapes; it yielded worthless grapes! After all of God’s “pleasant planting,” Israel was expected to be just and righteous. But what did He find instead? Bloodshed, despair, injustice, impurity, unfaithfulness, and idolatry, according to Isaiah. 

The Vinedresser desires good fruit. God wants disciples of Jesus to bear the good fruit of righteousness, justice, purity, and faith. Bearing fruit isn’t just restricted to this list; rather, bearing fruit is simply the works we produce. And ripe, plump, good fruit brings the Vinedresser deep joy and immense glory. How will you bear good fruit for the Lord today?