IT'S TIME TO GO OVER THE WALL
John 15:1–10 (KJV 1900)
1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. 2 Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. 3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. 6 If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. 8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. 9 As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. 10 If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.
When you come to the place of destiny, you have to shift beyond pettiness and focus on what you are called to do. I once heard the story of how the cat caught the bird. There was a bird in the mouth of a cat, and someone asked how this could be. The bird has wings and has the ability to fly higher than the cat could ever jump. The story is told that the cat stared the bird down, hypnotizing it through distraction. While the bird was locked in the antics of the cat, it did not realize that the cat was inching closer to it in the tree. After a few minutes of staring and distracting, the cat apprehended the bird and brought it down from the tree to the ground. Now the bird was permanently on the cat’s level. This is what happens to many of us. We allow things that never should distract us from purpose to bring us down to their level. When this happens, we succumb to things that could be devastating to our future.
Maturity does not sweat the little stuff. Maturity transcends and maintains itself in the midst of those who have hurt you. Psalms 27:6 declares “And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the Lord.”
This is a powerful example of maturity. It’s the ability to be who you are regardless of the actions of those around you. You will be tested on numerous occasions to reveal your level of maturity.
Once, a critic attempted to bait me into responding to an issue that I felt was unnecessary to respond to. When you mature, you understand that some things don’t deserve a response because your response brings credibility to it. I was so upset that I felt the need to give the critic a piece of my mind. I wanted to lash out, like Peter did in the Garden of Gethsemane. As humorous as this may sound, it is clear that all of us demonstrate immaturity in some areas while staying mature in others. When Jesus asked the disciples to pray one hour, they fell asleep. Peter’s immaturity continued to come to the forefront when he took out a sword and engaged in warfare in the garden. This was not God’s intent. Peter’s immaturity was about to get Jesus killed in a brawl in the Garden of Gethsemane rather than come to His glory on Calvary. Immature responses can interrupt the plans of God over your life. Jesus rebukes Peter. Immaturity will have you responding in ways that are inconsistent with you godly values. The Devil will use your immaturity to prevent the plans of God from manifesting in your life.
In the Old Testament, God spoke of the vine as a symbol of Israel
8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt: Thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it.
1 Now will I sing to my wellbeloved a song of my beloved touching his vineyard. My wellbeloved hath a vineyard in a very fruitful hill: 2 And he fenced it, and gathered out the stones thereof, And planted it with the choicest vine, And built a tower in the midst of it, And also made a winepress therein: And he looked that it should bring forth grapes, And it brought forth wild grapes.
21 Yet I had planted thee a noble vine, wholly a right seed: how then art thou turned into the degenerate plant of a strange vine unto me?
In John 15 Jesus expanded the analogy. As the fulfillment of the Lord’s purpose for Israel, the great Son of David identified himself as the vine and his followers as branches.
MAIN IDEA: This chapter emphasizes two great truths—our personal relationship with the Lord and our divinely appointed mission to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.
The Father owns the garden, Jesus is the vine, and his followers are the branches.
Christ and not the church is the true vine
Three types of believers are named or inferred in this first part of the chapter: those who bear no fruit, those who bear some fruit and, later in verse 5, those who bear much fruit. The fruit-bearing branches, it would appear from the text of this verse, represent true believers. But to whom does the text refer when it says, he cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit?