“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, no neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing.” John 15:4-5 NASB
Jesus Says Abide In Me
It was Passover. Jesus had just finished dinner with His disciples. He had washed their feet, and sent Judas on his way, then He and the remaining disciples were now on their way to the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus is reassuring them that He is going to prepare a place for them, that He’ll be back to gather them, and tells them they cannot go with Him. Of course, like children, they are full of questions and Thomas blurts out “they don’t know where He’s going and how do they know the way?” As they walked to the garden, Jesus comforts them, explaining many things, telling them they will do greater works than He had done. However, there is a catch. In order for them to do all these things, to believe all these things, to trust all these things, they must ABIDE.
How Do We Abide In Him
Abide? How does one do that? The Greek tells us they were to “remain or continue”. So, continue following His teachings and examples and ways, as though He would always be with them. One of the Hebrew translations would have them to “cleave, follow close, join together as if glued”. A vine is connected to the branch in a symbiotic relationship. Others see this not as symbiotic but connected. Whichever it is, without the Branch, fruit cannot be bourn, for it is in the Branch the lifeblood flows.
Abide? Me? How do I do that? Cleave myself to Jesus as though He were my spouse. Continue in His Word daily, musing over the wisdom and knowledge and precepts. Follow the teachings and much fruit will be born. The fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Let myself be the vine that wraps itself around the Branch, so much so, that without the Branch, I wither and die. Glue myself so much to His Word, that to rip the Word out of me, would rip out my very heart.
What Happens When We Don’t Abide
And if I don’t abide, what then? Then it becomes spiritual suicide. Those who are not Christ-followers don’t understand this, for they don’t know what it is to have an abundant life, filled with joy amidst sorrow and hardships. For those of us who follow after and love Jesus our Messiah, it is essential to our well-being and that of everyone we come in contact with, for our “vine” to remain in the Branch. Oh, sure, we can fake it, but after a time, people will know; you will know. Then what? You either wither and die or come crawling back to the foot of the Cross, to the One Who washed you clean and ask Him to “wash your feet.”
Confession and repentance is not just a one-time deal. The “one-time” confession gives us eternal life, the ongoing confession and repentance is the sanctification of my life. It’s the journey, leaving my old ways and cleaving to the ways of Jesus. It’s becoming a vine growing because of the Living Water, on the Living Branch that overshadows the Cross on which my Savior died. It’s continually being washed by the water of the Word.
To abide is to continually confess to Jesus that I can’t live my life without Him. He knows that. He told His disciples that. He told me that, and you, and anyone else who will read His Word.
Will you abide?