He who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears
for apart from Me you can do nothing.
~ John 15:5 ~
consider why our Beloved has left us here on earth instead of taking us
home to be with Him, we need to understand that our lives are to be
lived in light of His eternal provisions because He is expecting each of
our lives to produce good grapes.
One of the purposes of our lives as believers in Messiah is to point
those around us to our Beloved. The lives that we touch should be drawn
to consider a relationship with God through our fruit - to see His
beauty, hear of His wonderful works, smell His sweet aroma emanating
from our lives and thereby have the desire to
taste and see that the Lord is good.
|Abide in Me, and I in you. As the
branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine,
so 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 ~
Messiah goes on to teach Peter, and the rest of us, what
is needed to be fruitful. Yeshua said, Abide in
Me, and I in you. What does it mean to abide? This Greek word
for abide is meno, which means to remain, to stay, to live, and
to continue. A vine branch is lifeless and useless unless it remains
attached to the vine. The living sap from the stock flows into the
branch, enabling it to produce grapes. Similarly in our lives, it is
when we remain in union with Messiah and derive our life from Him, only
then will we produce the fruit of the Spirit. Paul reiterates this truth
in his epistles.
Galatians 2:20 - I have been crucified
with Messiah. It is no longer I who live, but Messiah who lives in me.
And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,
who loved me and gave himself for me.
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through
Him who strengthens me.
This calls us to vigilance because abiding is not a casual idea of letís
hang out together, rather abiding means a sustained conscious communion
with the Lord, whereby we maintain our fellowship with Him.
John 15:4 says, Abide in me and I in you.
The two things are distinct, though closely connected.
I in you is a matter of grace and
takes place when we trust in Messiah as our atonement.
The other phrase, abide in me refers
to our responsibility to look to Him for all our resources, in order to
see His goodness, His grace, and His power in every situation as He
enables us to bear fruit.
The final phrase, without Him we can do nothing
reinforces the fact that we are totally dependent on what He alone can
provide. Most likely our pride will agree to assistance, but not
surrender. However, it is our yielded hearts that the Lord is looking
for and our acknowledgment of our total dependence on Him.
Messiah is teaching His disciples how to bear fruit, bear more fruit,
and bear much fruit. In John 15:5 Messiah repeats,
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.
Messiah, knowing of His impending death, wants to strengthen their
faith. His earnest desire is that they keep abiding in Him.
It is important to remember that abiding is not
automatic, but rather is a deliberate choice that His disciples will
have to make daily. Messiah gives the contrast and lets them know that
if they think they can do something apart from Him, they are sadly
mistaken. However, He wants to assure them that they are eternally
secure in His hand.
|My sheep hear My voice, and I know
them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and
they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My
hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all;
and no one is able to snatch them out of the Fatherís hand.
~ John 10:27-29 ~
We are eternally secure in Him but in order to produce
fruit we must abide. Messiah wants His sheep, as He calls us in John 10
and His branches as He calls us in John 15, to realize we have choices
each day to abide, or not to abide.
article is reprinted
from the Word of Messiah Ministry's Shmooze letter of 2/12/12.
Other articles by Miriam may be viewed at
Miriam Nadler has assisted Hilda Koser in
Brooklyn, interned with Chosen People Ministries, studied at Hebrew
University, helped to open a coffeehouse outreach in Jerusalem, and was a
member of The Liberated Wailing
Wall music outreach of Jews for Jesus, where she met, and then married, Sam
Nadler. Sam later opened
the New York branch of Jews for Jesus, where Miriam discipled women. From 1979
to 1996, Sam was
leadership with Chosen People Ministries during and since which time they've planted Messianic
congregations worldwide. In 1997, she and Sam opened Word of Messiah
to focus on making Messianic disciples through congregations.