“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.”-John 15:1
At the end of chapter 14, Jesus said to his disciples, “Rise let us go from here.” They had eaten dinner, and were still talking together in the upper room, but now chapter 15 opens act II. They were headed to the Garden of Gethsemane, and on the way, he would continue his instruction.
“I am the vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” Jesus was particularly good at using metaphors. It makes me wonder if, as they were walking, Jesus spotted a vine and took it as an opportunity to teach the disciples.
He frequently used agricultural imagery. I suspect that the further removed we are from our farming roots, the more we miss what Jesus was saying. In a technological world, life is much more predictable and efficient. Machines are more consistent than plants. Even when they are genetically modified, plants are still living organisms. Growth is not immediate and plants remain susceptible to disease, injury, and death.
As chapter 15 opens, Jesus described the Father as a vinedresser, one who tends plants and makes sure they grow. He described himself as the true vine, the one from who all life flows. He wanted us to see how much our lives depend upon him.
Jesus, I love your organic metaphors. They help me to understand that my growth is not fast, but it does happen when I remain connected to you, the true vine. Prune me, in your mercy, but leave me connected to you. Amen.