In previous blogs I have covered the top ten teachings according to the frequency with which Christ taught (seen on page 133 of the download ‘What on earth have we done with the teachings of Jesus’). Continuing now with Christ’s additional teachings. The next of which is ‘Bear fruit’.
We did not choose Him, but He chose us
Jesus says that we did not choose Him, but He chose us and appointed us to bear fruit. What fruit are we required to produce? Fruit in keeping with the character of Jesus. For Jesus said the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me – John 15:4. So fruit comes from abiding in Jesus. As we abide in Him, keep close accounts with Him, walk with Him and defer to His leading – we will bear much fruit. When we get on with our day without including Him or just giving Him a token morning gesture – we will bear little or no fruit at all.
Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit – John 15:2. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples – John 15:8.
Thank God that He is the faithful gardener.
The Father is the gardener
Henry says – That the Father is the husbandman, georgos—the land-worker. Though the earth is the Lord’s, it yields Him no fruit unless He works it. God is not only owner of, but carer of, the vine and all the branches. He has planted, and watered, and gives the increase; for we are God’s husbandry, 1 Cor. 3:9 For we are God’s fellow workers; you are God’s field, you are God’s building.
He had an eye upon Christ, the root, and upheld Him, and made Him to flourish out of a dry ground. He has an eye upon all the branches, and prunes them, and watches over them, that nothing hurt them. Never was any husbandman so wise, so watchful, about His vineyard, as God is about His people, which therefore can only prosper.
We must be fruitful
The duty taught us by this is of the bringing forth of fruit. We must be fruitful. From a vine we look for grapes, and from a Christian we look for Christianity. This is the fruit, a Christian character and disposition, a Christian life and conversation, Christian devotions and Christian designs. We must honour God, and do good, and exemplify the purity and power of the religion we profess. This is bearing fruit. The disciples here must be fruitful, as Christians, in all the fruits of righteousness, and in diffusing the aroma of the knowledge of Christ.
To persuade them to this, He explains the doom of the unfruitful (John 15:2) They are taken away. It is here intimated that there are many who pass for branches in Christ who yet do not bear fruit. If they were really united to Christ by faith, they would bear fruit. But being only tied to him by the thread of an outward profession, though they seem to be branches, they will soon be seen to be dried up.
Whoever has, to him more will be given
Unfruitful professors of Christ are unfaithful professors. Every branch that bears no fruit it is here threatened that they shall be taken away, in justice to them and in kindness to the rest of the branches. From him that has not real union with Christ, and fruit produced thereby, shall be taken away even that which he seemed to have, Luke 8:18 whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him.
The promise made to the fruitful: He purges them, that they may bring forth more fruit. The first blessing was, Be fruitful; and it is still a great blessing. Even fruitful branches, in order to their further fruitfulness, have need of purging or pruning. He takes away that which is superfluous and luxuriant, which hinders its growth and fruitfulness.
The purging of fruitful branches
Even the fruitful have notions, passions, or humours, that need to be purged away, which Christ has promised to do by his Word, and Spirit, and providence. These shall be taken off by degrees in the proper season. The purging of fruitful branches, to produce greater fruitfulness, is the care and work of the great husbandman, for His own glory.
Adapted from the Matthew Henry Commentary
Towards Maximum Fruitfulness – John 15:2 No longer can there be Any sort of delay. Every useless branch Must be cut away. From a single apple There can come the whole tree. You must be totally Related to Me. The pruning is so everything Can be prepared For maximum fruitfulness By those hands that cared. Of one thing There can be little doubt. If we are not able to give up Then we will not be able to give out. By the late Andrew Feakin (passed away 16th March 2019)
Prayer: Father, Thank You for Your Word that says Jesus is that Vine and You are the Vinedresser. Purge in me everything that produces no fruit for You. Teach me to abide in You moment by moment that I may produce abundant fruit – fruit that will last. In the name of Christ I pray. Amen.