Shelby G. Floyd
At this time of the year the vineyards are fully loaded with fruit that is waiting to be harvested. This is the result of good stock, good ground, and good care. It is wonderful to see a beautiful, fruitful vineyard.
The vine and its branches was a symbol of ancient Israel just as the Eagle is the emblem of America. Over the temple of Herod was a symbolic declaration of a great Golden vine. At one time both Isaiah and Jeremiah use this allegory of the vine and the branches to illustrate how God was displeased with Israel who had become spiritually unproductive. For instance, Isaiah cried out,
For the vineyard of the Lord of hosts is the house of Israel,
And the men of Judah are His pleasant plant.
He looked for justice, but behold, oppression;
For righteousness, but behold, a cry for help
And also the weeping prophet Jeremiah uttered this rebuke to backsliding Israel,
Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality.
How then have you turned before Me
Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine?
At one time our Lord Jesus Christ declared to his disciples, “I am the vine and you are the branches” (John 15:5). Jesus used the allegory of the vine and the branches to illustrate the close relationship that should exist between himself and his disciples. An allegory is an extended metaphor. The culture of the vine was a very common occupation in Israel.
Teaching by figures of speech was one of our Lord’s favorite methods of imparting God’s word. The parables and this allegory of the vine and the branches are good examples of this method of teaching. Because this method was easy to understand, “the common people heard him gladly” (Mark 12:37).
Now let us take an extended view of the wonderful lesson that Jesus taught in the story of the vine and the branches as related in John 15:1-8.
THE TRUE VINE
Jesus Christ is the true vine. He claimed to be the one true stock. “I am the true vine and my father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). Jesus applied the word “true,” to himself which means that Jesus was the genuine and the one true stock. Continue reading “The True Vine and Branches”