“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 ESV)
In the Old Testament, Israel was known as the vineyard of the Lord (Isaiah 5:1-7). Yet Israel proved unfruitful. Jesus came to earth to take her place, to fulfill God’s Law on behalf of not just the Jews, but all mankind. He is the vine and those who are attached to Him are the branches. Yet the branches are not perfect and do require pruning. What is not productive, what is not useful to the health of the entire vine is trimmed and pruned.
Jesus used this image of the vine to show how He works in each individual believer so that all will develop as He wants. He trims off our sins and imperfections so the church becomes healthy. This image of the vine and branches also tells us that we Christians are all connected to Christ we are also all connected to one another. Fruit bearing is exercised in the community of believers.
We Christians are all partners, co-workers in the ministry of salvation. We are commissioned to go into the entire world and preach the gospel. The fruit we are to bear involves witnessing to others as well as performing deeds of love, compassion, mercy, and righteousness not just for one another but also for the rest of the world so that they too may know Christ’s love through us.