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ABIDING IN THE TRUE VINE

Read­ing Time: 3 minutes

Introduction   

Last Sunday, John presen­ted to us the image of Jesus the good shep­herd. A good shep­herd who lays down his life for the sheep because he sin­cerely cares for them and loves them too; who knows the sheep one after the oth­er. That is, he knows them indi­vidu­ally and can always identi­fy them any­where, every­where; a good shep­herd care­fully and con­tinu­ously leads the sheep, calls the sheep to order; pro­tects them from danger and if injured, dresses the wound. A good, caring and lov­ing shep­herd who lives for the sheep. This Sunday, we have anoth­er power­ful and awe­some image – Jesus, the true vine dressed by the Fath­er Him­self. The vine is any woody climb­ing plant, which bears grapes. It is a pro­lif­ic plant, which sup­ports many branches. In the Hebrew (Old) Test­a­ment, the sym­bol of vine is fre­quently used to refer to the Israel­ites (cf. Ps 80:8–16; Isa 5:1–7; Ezek 19:10–14; Jer 2:21). However,.…

Remain in me

The idea of cut­ting off implies judg­ment. Prun­ing brings about fruit­ful­ness. In the Gos­pels and oth­er Chris­ti­an Test­a­ment Writ­ings, the image of good life rep­res­ents the product of a godly life or vir­tu­ous liv­ing (cf. Matt 3:8; 7:16–20; Gal 5:22–23; Eph 5:9). Accord­ing to Jesus, the only way to avoid being cut off and to be pruned, is to remain in him. Now, the ques­tion is: what does it mean to remain in Jesus? The Greek verb menō means remain, stay, dwell, abide. For nine (9) good times, John employs this verb in the fol­low­ing sequence: “remain in me, as I also remain in you…. It (branch) must remain in the vine…. unless you remain in me…. If you remain in me and I (remain) in you…. If you do not remain in me.… If you remain in me, and my words remain in you.” The whole mes­sage of this Gos­pel pas­sage is sum­mar­ised in this verb. To remain in Jesus is to imit­ate him in words and actions. To remain in Jesus is to remain in the words of the Gos­pel. To remain in Jesus is to have fear of God. To remain in Jesus is to be respons­ible and account­able for our actions and words.

Conclusion

That a per­son goes to Church and belongs to dif­fer­ent asso­ci­ations in the Church does not mean the per­son is (remains) in Jesus. The image of the vine is a beau­ti­ful image. Jesus is not just the vine; he is the true vine. God is the garden­er who takes prop­er care of this vine. And we are the branches of this vine. As a branch, if you remain faith­ful, the garden­er, that is, God will keep prun­ing you, and you will keep pro­du­cing good fruits. But if you become unfaith­ful, the only option is to cut you off so that you do not con­tam­in­ate oth­er branches. There­fore, keep to those things that will make you faith­ful and keep away from those that will make you unfaith­ful. Jesus said that His Fath­er, the vine-dress­er, removes any branch that does not bear fruit. This means that it is not enough to be in Jesus. It is not enough to pro­fess Jesus as my per­son­al Lord and saviour. These might be form­al acts which do not por­tray true faith. In fact,.….

FOR DETAILS, GET YOUR OWN COPIES OF THE BOOKTHE WORD OF LIFE: SUNDAY REFLECTIONS” (vols. I and II)!! The reflec­tion for the FIFTH Sunday of Pascha (B) is found in vol. II pages 202–209. Happy reading!

For details on how to get it, con­tact the author on this link: https://m.me/uchennabiblia?fbclid=IwAR2yeg4a6sDGBp9QGkIvKj6FSADumMokN6lshdE0zuo-JHs6qOmlhA7jyHo or email me at: postmaster@uchennabiblia.com or simply send an SMS on 08116100926, and I will get back to you.

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