“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.” John 15:4 [ESV]

            My biology students are surprised when I tell them that plants have hormones that control much of its growth and development, just like hormones do in humans. One of the most important plant hormones is auxin (from the Greek auxein, to increase) which controls numerous aspects of plant development and coordinates a plant’s response to the environment. Without auxin, a plant could not develop flowers, grow, respond to stresses, and light or produce fruit.

            Our reading today from John 15 describes a similar vital attachment to the true Vine (John 15:1). As believers, just like plants, we must be supplied constantly. Apart from our true Vine, nothing of eternal value will happen. As with the purpose of auxin, apart from the vine of Jesus, we can not produce fruit. We must have Jesus!

            Scripture is wonderful enough to answer the question “Why?”. Why would it matter that believers be so dependent on Jesus? John 15:11 answers this vital question: “…That your joy may be made full”. The Apostle John writes the same answer in another way in 1 John 1:4: “…That our joy may be made complete”.

            To be attached to Jesus, the true Vine and author and perfector of our faith (Heb. 12:2), is eternally important for our holiness and joy. We can trust our heavenly vinedresser in the pruning and sanctification process that leads to our holiness (Rom. 6:22). We can trust Jesus to secure our eternal salvation (John 10:28).  We can trust that the Vine supplies us with all that we need. We can trust His Word and truth that leads to our full and complete joy!

Further study:
  • 2 Peter 1:3-4
  • 1 John 1:1-4
  • Auxin:

by Eric Adams, Deacon

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