“”Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.” John 15:2
The branch of the VINE Jesus is one who has professed that HE is the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Word made flesh. I am a branch if I have claimed Messiah Jesus as my DIVINE personal Messiah and am united with HIM by faith.
Now some who claim to have such a relationship do not bear the fruit of Messiah Jesus which is love (1 Corinthians 13; Gal 5:22). Most every translation translates the Greek word (airo) as “He takes away”. This would seem to be an understandable translation in light of John 15:6 in which it is clear that some do not abide and therefore without the fruit of love face a judgment of fire. So this would be seen as a person who made an outward profession of faith in the LORD Jesus but never truly was possessed by the LORD Jesus. Such would be the case of Judas and others who leave the faith after professing it. ( Matthew 13:21)
Yet the word itself has a primary meaning of to “lift up” or “carry” in which case this would mean that the Infinite Father would be lifting this branch up out of the darkness where it cannot bear fruit to a place where it would bear fruit. This would be a translation that focuses on the idea of the branch being “in the Vine” as more than a formal outward profession but a real spiritual connection. In this case the lack of fruit of the branch would be temporary and the lifting up would allow it to bear fruit.
That the great GARDENER of our souls does do this is without question. For when a branch does bear some fruit, then he “prunes” that branch to make it more productive. The word for prunes is “Kathairo” which means really that the Great loving Divine Father cleans us. We get our medical term to cauterize in which we destroy some tissue by heat or cold to allow healing of a wound by cleaning it of infection. This may well be the chastising discipline promised to all God’s children for their good and the increase of their productivity as disciples given to us by the author of Hebrews.
“You have not yet resisted to the point of shedding blood in your striving against sin; and you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, “MY SON, DO NOT REGARD LIGHTLY THE DISCIPLINE OF THE LORD, NOR FAINT WHEN YOU ARE REPROVED BY HIM; FOR THOSE WHOM THE LORD LOVES HE DISCIPLINES, AND HE SCOURGES EVERY SON WHOM HE RECEIVES.” It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. (Hebrews 12:4-6)
I can only bear fruit because I am “in the VINE Jesus” because the power of life and love are in my union and communion with HIM. That connection is vital for me becoming a person of unconditional love for other people and passionate love for the one true TRIUNE God. If I am without love in me then this may indicate that I am not really in a life giving relationship “IN the VINE”. Perhaps, I am only professing faith in the LORD Jesus without really being possessed by the LORD Jesus. When I lack love for God and other people, I need to examine myself to see if I really am in a real relationship by faith with the LORD Jesus (2 Corinthians 13:5).
Yet, a season of lacking fruit, what is called a “dark night of the soul” may occur in a true believers life and the loving and compassionate Heavenly Father will lift me up and carry me into the light where I can experience and share Jesus’ love with others again. The purpose of the Heavenly Gardener is to care, nurture, correct, discipline, and cleanse me so that my life may bear abundant fruit of loving actions, words, and attitudes.
God the Father has destined and determined that I will be effective in reflecting HIS love to a dark world because of the life of the LORD Jesus in me and the loving concern He has in actively being involved and watching over me.
May I become more and more aware of being connected to the LORD Jesus in a living relationship of faith and love, that will produce in me a life worth living. May I see the intervention of the Heavenly Gardener my Father, helping me to become ever more effective in living a good, noble, and praise worthy life for HIS glory.
Great Living Lord Jesus, allow YOUR life to flow into me and bear fruit. Make me more and more aware of our union and communion in the SPIRIT. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Heavenly Father, cleanse me so that I will bear more abundant faith, hope, and love in my life. Help me to produce an abundant life of loving words, actions, and attitudes for YOUR glory. Help me feel, see, and understand YOUR active work in me. Let me hear YOUR word and believe YOUR word so that I may live in the light of YOUR word. Thank YOU for making me a branch attached to YOU. Make me fruitful. Amen