The word ‘Christian’ means different things to different people … if we get our information from the biblical material, there is no doubt that the Christian life is a dancing, leaping, daring life. —Eugene Peterson
Grapes and grapevines were important back in Jesus’ day—very important. They were a vital source of nourishment and nutrients. Symbolically, grapes and grapevines also represented provision, abundance, and life itself.
One day Jesus and His disciples were walking past the Jewish temple, a magnificent structure which was decorated with grapes and vines. As they gazed up at that incredible building, He made an amazing claim:
“I am the true vine.” (John 15:1)
Anyone else who overheard this claim would have been shocked by His apparent arrogance. Who does this guy think He is?! Thankfully, Jesus didn’t leave them all hanging in the confusion. Like a school teacher to her children, He carefully explained it all by painting a picture of our identity as believers:
- Jesus is the vine.
- The Father is the gardener.
- We are the branches, the connection between the vine and the fruit that brings the Father glory.
Could this word picture help us enter the “dancing, leaping, daring life” we find in Scripture? Is it possible that He is showing us a fresh, empowering, new paradigm for life as believers as we learn to live out our identity in Him?
“I am the true vine.” At least one thing is perfectly clear from these five words: Jesus is claiming to be something that is essential, irreplaceable, and life-giving. He uses the grapevine as a powerful metaphor to describe who He is… “the way, the truth, and the life.”
Are you experiencing Christ in that way today?
Holy Spirit, I want to see Jesus for who He is—the true vine. Let this truth make its way to my heart so that I might feel its full emotional, spiritual, and personal impact. Let my life be a clear reflection of who I am in Jesus and who Jesus is in me. Amen!