Key Verse to Read and Treasure:
I am the true vine. (John 15:1, ESV)
Think of the blessing it could be if you knew you were dying months, weeks, or days ahead. What would you do during this time? How would you close out your life? While many say they would not want to know in advance I’m one who would enjoy knowing. At times I’ve thought about what I’d like to be able to do in those final months or days. Of course, some would want to travel if they had the time; go someplace they always wanted. Some would choose to do something they always wanted but never had the time or enough courage. And some, like me, would use their time to have those last conversations with people they care deeply about. I personally would like to spend my time talking to my family: have those final conversations about things that will matter in their going forward. I’d want to make sure my husband knew he’d been a great husband, a loving and caring partner, that I’d had lots of fun with him and would marry him all over again. That I never regretted marrying him and having a family. He’d know what this meant since it was common knowledge my first plan was to become a sister and spend my life in a cloister community.
I’d want time to talk to my adult children and let them know they were the best kids ever to raise and how proud I am of them and the lives they’ve made for themselves and what awesome people and parents they are. They bring my heart joy.
I’d want to talk to my grandkids about life and let them know how much I love them, and they should never forget they were my great joy and always made me smile. I’d want to remind them to be steadfast in faith and cling to the Lord so I can see them again in heaven. I’d remind them God did not give them a spirit of timidity and fear but one of boldness, love, and self-control.
When we read the Gospel of John this is what Jesus is doing: having those final, important conversations with his beloved disciples. He wanted them to know although he was going home to be with and sit at the right hand of God the Father their relationship would continue and be even stronger. He was going to make sure they did the works he did and even greater works than these. He wanted them to know they had an unbreakable bond that would continue through all eternity and how he was going to make sure they had a Spiritual companion in the Holy Spirit who was going to lead and guide them through life and ministry.
In the Gospel of John Jesus makes seven “I AM” statements beginning with “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35); and ending with “I am the true vine” (John 15:1). Jesus says he is the “true vine” because there are lots of vines in the world, no shortage of false prophets and shepherds, but he is the only true Vine. He is our only true, uncontaminated life source and lifeline. The living Water and spiritual nourishment that can bring earthly blessing and eternal life.
When we think of the purpose of an earthly vine, we understand there can be no branches without the vine and the vine is where the branches have life and nourishment and the only reason they can bear fruit. For the Christian in every generation, it’s imperative for us to remember we exist, and we bear fruit because Christ IS. Everything we enjoy is because Jesus is the true, life source and lifeline. We can only be a branch because Jesus is our true Vine where our life and sustenance is found. As he says going further in the chapter as long as we are in him we have the ability to bear his fruit but apart from him we cannot do anything that has to do with growing or advancing the kingdom of God on earth.
Jesus’ final conversations would be a lifeline for the early Church and when they came into situations and times where they needed to hear his voice or receive his counsel and be reminded what to do it was his Spirit and these words that came back to them. In our life we might not know what conversation will be our last but we can make every one of them count by making sure those around us know we bore fruit, we were productive and blessed because we are a branch on the true Vine, Jesus Christ.
Jesus, thank you for sharing. Your life and the way you lived it inspires us to this day to be branches that bear fruit and more fruit. Amen
What conversations are important to me to have with my loved ones while I still can?
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