My granddaughter has a saying she uses often when something she doesn’t believe should happen or she refuses to accept. “I just can’t…” There are no words after this phrase. It is not really a full sentence in my teacher mind, but it expresses exactly what she means by the way she says it with a shake of her head and the roll of her eyes. Communication is clear. “I just can’t”. I thought of this as I read our next passage. You will see why when we you read it prayerfully and carefully.
Jesus gives his disciples another word picture of the importance of being with Him, relying and trusting in His wisdom while living life completely “attached” to Him for the greatest impact on the world with His message of salvation. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing.”
Imagine Jesus and his guys walking through the vineyard, with Him showing how the branches are attached to the main vine in a gardening lesson from One who was at the Creation of those vines! He finishes the lesson by getting the “root” of it all. “Remember the root command: Love one another.”
When I am unattached from The Vine, going my own way, leaning on my own pea brain wisdom, insight and understanding,
“I just can’t” …
- Experience His peace in troubles
- Have complete and mature Joy in all circumstance
- Make myself at home in His love
- Love like Jesus loves me
- Produce fruit that lasts forever… “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)
- Live forever with Jesus
- Ask the Father for help
- Be Friends with Jesus, Kind of kings, Lord of lords, Savior and Lord of my life.
“Separated, you can’t produce a thing.” –Jesus
John 15:1-17, The Message
The Vine and the Branches
1-3 “I am the Real Vine and my Father is the Farmer. He cuts off every branch of me that doesn’t bear grapes. And every branch that is grape-bearing he prunes back so it will bear even more. You are already pruned back by the message I have spoken.
4 “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.
5-8 “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.
9-10 “I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love. If you keep my commands, you’ll remain intimately at home in my love. That’s what I’ve done—kept my Father’s commands and made myself at home in his love.
11-15 “I’ve told you these things for a purpose: that my joy might be your joy, and your joy wholly mature. This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you. I’m no longer calling you servants because servants don’t understand what their master is thinking and planning. No, I’ve named you friends because I’ve let you in on everything I’ve heard from the Father.
16 “You didn’t choose me, remember; I chose you, and put you in the world to bear fruit, fruit that won’t spoil. As fruit bearers, whatever you ask the Father in relation to me, he gives you.
17 “But remember the root command: Love one another.
I remember. You chose me. You loved me before I knew you. I became attached to your love, mercy and grace. I just can’t unattached myself to all you have to offer to me. I just can’t. My life is yours. All of my life is yours. Thank you for giving your life to save mine. Thank you for wanting to be my friend as well as my Savior and Lord. Produce in me all your characteristics. Forgive me when I falter and fear because of my own unsteadiness. Be my strength, confidence and my song all day long. Show me your ways and I will follow. I just can’t do life any other way. With you, I can!
In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen. I believe.