(The book of John takes us through many deep discussions that Jesus gave at various times in His ministry. Please click here for Study #1 -- Jesus and Nicodemus; Study #2 -- The Woman at the Well; Study #3 -- At the Pool of Bethesda; and Study #4 -- Bread of Life; and Study #5 -- The Shepherd and His Flock. The next 7 devotionals are from John chapter 15, and they focus on the lessons we can learn from Jesus’ famous discourse, "The Vine and the Branches." )
Last week, in The Vine and the Branches,
Part 6, we learned some vitally important steps for staying connected to
"the Vine." We have also learned in previous parts of this study that
the reason we need to stay connected to the vine is so that we bear the
fruit of the Spirit in order for the gospel message to be adequately
spread to the lost world, and we have learned that the consequences of
not bearing fruit are that we will be pruned back from the vine!
But is fruit-bearing the only benefit of staying connected to the vine?
Given that this reason is stated five times in as many verses, "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
bears fruit He
prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of
the word which I have spoken to you. 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. 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."(John 15:1-5, NKJV)...and then is
stated three more times in the next 11 verses, I would say that it is
definitely the most important reason!
But is this the only reason to stay connected to Jesus?
Not according to Jesus!
In this famous discourse, Jesus goes on to mention 8 other benefits for
staying connected to the vine:
1. "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to
you." (John 15:3, NKJV)
Jesus states here that abiding in the vine will make us "clean!"
2. "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and
is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they
are burned." (John 15:6)
Another wonderful benefit of abiding in Jesus is that we won't be cast
off. We won't suffer hell fire. Now there's a notable benefit!
3. "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 15:7) and
"...whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you." (John
Abiding in Jesus ensures that our prayers are answered! Why? Because
when we abide in Him, then our will begins to resemble His, and we begin
to pray according to His will, which has now become our will.
4. "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you
will be My disciples." (John 15:6-8, NKJV)
Abiding in Jesus ensures we will be His disciples.
5. "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My
love." (John 15:9, NKJV)
Abiding in Jesus allows us to abide in His love.
6. "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in
you, and that your joy may be full." (John 15:11, NKJV)
Here Jesus is speaking of fullness of joy. Abiding in Jesus results in
utmost, absolute, complete, unending joy.
7. "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer
do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is
doing; but I have called you friends..." (John 15:14-15a)
Abiding in Jesus ensures that we are not His servants, but His friends.
Isn't it wonderful to think that the God of the universe is your friend?
8. "...for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known
to you." (John 15:15b)
Finally, abiding in Jesus ensures that we have access to knowing the
will of God.
Now that's quite a list of benefits! But to get this in perspective, we
must remember that these benefits, as wonderful and desirable as they
are, are only mentioned once each in the discourse. Thus, in light of
the fact that fruit bearing is mentioned eight times, they must be
considered "fringe" benefits. Bearing fruit is still considered the
biggest benefit for staying connected to the Vine.
But why would this be considered a "benefit?" I mean, bearing the fruit
of the Spirit and spreading the gospel take work. This doesn't seem that
appealing in a mentality that has learned to do things primarily for
personal gain. Why would Jesus emphasize this eight times, and only mention
the other benefits once?
Because Jesus knew something that we just can't seem to comprehend.
Jesus is trying to show us that when we, indeed, make our primary
priority to draw others to Jesus by working on our fruit-bearing, only
then do we make room for other, powerful fringe benefits to touch our
lives. Thus, it is in giving that we find utmost joy, peace, and
It seems backwards, I know. But the truth is that it is in giving -- and
not in receiving -- that we are filled.
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two
teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet
Scriptural Nuggets, a
website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with
Answers2Prayer Ministries. You
can now follow me on Twitter!
(To access the rest of this
mini-series, please click