Please view the referenced four minute video before viewing this video. Through video and visual modeling we discuss the meaning of being attached or grafted to the True Vine, Jesus Christ, tended by the Vinedresser, our Father in Heaven.
For the benefit of those who might watch or listen to this presentation as a recording, due to copyright the video just shown may or may not be incorporated into the message, so a YouTube link may be provided, if necessary, for viewing. Please view that four-minute video before continuing with this message.
Nat Geo introduced the video just viewed with the following text...
“Sam Van Aken, an artist and professor at Syracuse University, uses "chip grafting" to create trees that each bear 40 different varieties of stone fruits, or fruits with pits. The grafting process involves slicing a bit of a branch with a bud from a tree of one of the varieties and inserting it into a slit in a branch on the "working tree," then wrapping the wound with tape until it heals and the bud starts to grow into a new branch. Over several years he adds slices of branches from other varieties to the working tree. In the spring the "Tree of 40 Fruit" has blossoms in many hues of pink and purple, and in the summer it begins to bear the fruits in sequence—Van Aken says it's both a work of art and a time line of the varieties' blossoming and fruiting. He's created more than a dozen of the trees that have been planted at sites such as museums around the U.S., which he sees as a way to spread diversity on a small scale.”
In this video we see a knowledgeable man’s fascination with grafting, who then uses his skill to turn stone fruit trees into beautiful, productive works of art.
With this imagery in mind let’s turn to Romans...
Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Romans 11:17 Romans 11:17And if some of the branches be broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them partake of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
American King James Version× And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,
Romans 11:18 Romans 11:18Boast not against the branches. But if you boast, you bore not the root, but the root you.
American King James Version× do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.
From being wild to tame – From being weak to healthy – not comparing
What or who is this root?
John 15:1 John 15:1I am the true vine, and my Father is the farmer.
American King James Version× "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.
John 15:2 John 15:2Every branch in me that bears not fruit he takes away: and every branch that bears fruit, he purges it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
American King James Version× 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.
Christ immediately gives us the bad news, so let us put this into perspective first...
The Parable of the Barren Fig Tree
Luke 13:6 Luke 13:6He spoke also this parable; A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came and sought fruit thereon, and found none.
American King James Version× He also spoke this parable: "A certain man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard, and he came seeking fruit on it and found none.
Luke 13:7 Luke 13:7Then said he to the dresser of his vineyard, Behold, these three years I come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and find none: cut it down; why encumbers it the ground?
American King James Version× Then he said to the keeper of his vineyard, 'Look, for three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree and find none. Cut it down; why does it use up the ground?'
Luke 13:8 Luke 13:8And he answering said to him, Lord, let it alone this year also, till I shall dig about it, and dung it:
American King James Version× But he answered and said to him, 'Sir, let it alone this year also, until I dig around it and fertilize it.
Luke 13:9 Luke 13:9And if it bear fruit, well: and if not, then after that you shall cut it down.
American King James Version× And if it bears fruit, well. But if not, after that you can cut it down.' "
So, we can receive some encouragement in our frailty related to producing fruit by remembering the parable of the fig tree, remembering however there is a limit to God’s patience, but what does it mean to be pruned when being productive?
PROP (vine branch and vine section, pruners)
Going back to John 15, starting in verse 4...
John 15:4 John 15:4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.
American King James Version× Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
John 15:5 John 15:5I am the vine, you are the branches: He that stays in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.
American King James Version× "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.
So, remembering what Paul wrote in Romans we see the gentiles being once wild, are grafted to the olive tree, which is maintained and cared for. If they had remained on their (own) original olive tree, nothing they would have produced would be lasting. They would be on their own roots, unmanaged, and eventually the olive tree would die; totally subject to the natural order.
As Christ likens Himself to the vine, this vine is everlasting, so, though we may be grafted onto it, producing fruit as we might have on our own vine, we become lasting and the fruit we produce does also, being sourced and supported by all godliness and righteousness.
The fruit from the wild plant would outwardly look the same as that of the tame, but the tame is fed by something that cannot perish.
Continuing in verse 7...
John 15:7 John 15:7If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done to you.
American King James Version× If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
John 15:8 John 15:8Herein is my Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be my disciples.
American King James Version× By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
Going on to verse 16...
John 15:16 John 15:16You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that you should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatever you shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
American King James Version× You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.
Remember I said that if we had remained our own olive tree, before we were taken and grafted onto the olive tree which is Jesus Christ, our fruit and our life would not have been lasting. Let’s turn to First Corinthians, chapter 2 for clarification...
1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.
1 Corinthians 2:12 1 Corinthians 2:12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
American King James Version× Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
1 Corinthians 2:13 1 Corinthians 2:13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
American King James Version× These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
1 Corinthians 2:14 1 Corinthians 2:14But the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
American King James Version× But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1 Corinthians 2:15 1 Corinthians 2:15But he that is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
American King James Version× But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
Judge = anakrinō
From G303 and G2919; properly to scrutinize, that is, (by implication) investigate, interrogate, determine: - ask, question, discern, examine, judge, search.
As soon as we are attached to the true vine, our understanding goes from the natural to the spiritual, and the fruit we produce is spiritually developed. Without that attachment we cannot understand true godliness.
It’s probably good here to be reminded of what the fruit of the Spirit is... Turning to Galations, chapter 5...
Galatians 5:22 Galatians 5:22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
American King James Version× But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
Galatians 5:23 Galatians 5:23Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
American King James Version× gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law.
On this special spiritual day of remembrance called Pentecost, we reflect on what it means to become a part of the body of Christ, and so here we have viewed that relationship through the analogy of being grafted branches on the True Vine, Jesus Christ. What is left is to go forward as one, not comparing ourselves to each other, but always remembering to compare ourselves to Christ, relying on the Father to maintain us toward salvation.
We will conclude in John 17...
John 17:11 John 17:11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to you. Holy Father, keep through your own name those whom you have given me, that they may be one, as we are.
American King James Version× Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are.
John 17:20 John 17:20Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;
American King James Version× "I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;
John 17:21 John 17:21That they all may be one; as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that you have sent me.
American King James Version× that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.
John 17:22 John 17:22And the glory which you gave me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
American King James Version× And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:
John 17:23 John 17:23I in them, and you in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that you have sent me, and have loved them, as you have loved me.
American King James Version× I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.
Let us thank our Father in Heaven who watches over and cares for us, we being directly attached to true righteousness and holiness in Jesus the Christ, us in Him and He in us, by the power of the Holy Spirit, becoming one with God and each other. God bless you on this holy Feast of Pentecost.