If you abide in me, and my
words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.
As Jesus’ time on earth came to an end, Jesus shares a passover meal while delivering a farewell message to His disciples. Knowing of the hardship the disciples would encounter after His departure, Jesus instructs His disciples to abide. Jesus, using the imagery of a grape vine, compares Himself to the vine and His disciples to branches. In this imagery, the branch has one job, and it’s not to bear fruit. The branch’s responsibility is to remain intact with the vine. Without the vine, the branch will be useless, but with the vine, the branch has the ability and will bear fruit as long as it remains intact with the vine.
Perhaps this is what Jesus is saying to His disciples. It’s not the disciples responsibility to bear fruit, but instead to remain in fellowship with Him. It’s the vine’s job to produce fruit from the branch, just like it’s Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit that produces fruit in the life of a believer. All we must do is abide.
Well, what does it mean to abide? How do we do this? The answer is found in Jesus’ words. Jesus says “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire and it shall be done for you.” Here, Jesus is making two connections when He says this to the disciples. First, abiding in Him looks like abiding in His words. To abide in His words, one must trust and obey His teachings, living faithfully to them. Second, abiding looks like remaining connected through prayer, leaning and depending on Him for everything.
By living faithfully to the words of Christ and remaining connected through prayer, it’s inevitable for the believer to bear fruit. When the believer bears fruit, it brings glory to the source of its nutrients and it brings glory to the one who cares for the vine. God is glorified through the fruit bearing of the believer and we are reminded that it’s not us who produces fruit, but who we are connected to and cared for by that brings forth fruit through us.
The world is constantly calling for our allegiance to it. It wants us to glean from it’s own wisdom, wisdom that’s truly folly and leads to destruction. It is imperative that we abide in Him. This is why we trust in Him and lean on Him in total dependence. Without Him we wither, without Him we become of no good use, without Him our witness to the world is compromised, without Him we bear no fruit.
Consider temporarily removing yourself from news outlets, social media accounts, and anything other source of entertainment or media that draws our attention away from the life giving words of Jesus. Instead of indulging in those things listed, be intentional about spending sweet intimate time with Jesus.
Father, give us the eyes to see our need for you, create a heart within us that desires to know you intimately. Give us the faith to believe that Your word is true and beautiful.
Rochto Joassin serves on staff as Youth Pastor at Redemption Church Alhambra located in Phoenix Arizona. He is married to his wife, Wandaline, and has two boys. He is originally from Oakland Park Florida, but relocated to Arizona in 2017 to earn his Masters in Missional Theology at the Missional Training Center. He has been in youth ministry since 2013 and spends most of his time reaching young people within his local church and those not associated with church by partnering with nonprofit organizations such as AZ Reach led by Juan Chavez and RLTK PHX led by Jordan Francis.