John Chapter 15 contains some very intriguing words spoken by Jesus, “I am the vine, ye are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit; for without me ye can do nothing”. (v.5) To Christians he makes a very clear analogy; Jesus is the vine, that which has root and supplies nourishment and we, the branches, rely on him for that provision. Being part of the vine, we bear the fruit, and if we were cut off, we would bring forth nothing. We would whither and die. “Abiding in the vine” is a common Christian expression and it infers peace, obedience, and blessings while in continual communion with Christ. Verse 2 of chapter 15 puts a little different slant on those thoughts. “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away; and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit”. Firstly, consider the fruitless branch, the limb that’s just along for the ride. It’s being fed and tended, but it’s barren. It’s a taker and not a giver and the verse clearly states that it is removed. A subtle warning to all that abiding in the vine means more than just being attached. But lest we think abiding and fruit- bearing is an easy row to hoe, that in our leisure we can produce a piece of fruit here and maybe after a while nonchalantly drop a seed there, there is the reference to purging. Anyone familiar with fruit trees and vines knows how important it is to prune them back. I know of one man who knew nothing of pruning and hired someone to prune his grape vines. When the hired man was done, he was sure that he cut so much off that he had killed them. The next year, however, he had a bountiful crop of grapes. Pruning is not a pleasant proposition. It is a cutting and tearing, a purging of even some things that aren’t necessarily bad. Sometimes it can be a painful process of a prolonged duration. “That the trial of your faith…though it be tried with fire might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”. (I Pet. 1:7) God sees the end from the beginning and it is his desire that we be all that we can be, and so, the testing and trials, the pruning’s, are a part of Christian life. Sometimes so severe we may cry out, “My God, my God, why have thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34), but the end result, if we could see it should be a tree loaded with fruit. “Herein is my father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples”. (John 15:8) Even as different trees bear different fruit, so are Christians called to bear the pruning with the fruit and give all glory to Him that is the root, for without Him, we can do nothing.