John 15:1-6 - Homilies By D. Young
The vine and the branches.
I. THE STATEMENT OF CONNECTION BETWEEN JESUS AND HIS PEOPLE . The connection is neither nominal nor artificial; it is a living union. The life of our Lord goes out to us every day. He is full of the noblest life—that which is nourished and developed by Divine love; and because he lives, we are to live also. There is to be the most entire community of life between Jesus and us; his affairs are our affairs, and our affairs are his affairs. He is interested in all of us. No step we take but he regards it with anxious eye; no true success we gain but what gladdens him as much as it gladdens us. He loves us all, the worst as well as the best. The true mother has a tender heart for all her children; for the stubborn, headstrong boy as much as the docile and yielding one; for the vain and giddy daughter as much as the quiet and gentle. All are in the family, and so are we. Sometimes we play sad havoc with the profession of believers in Christ Jesus. Some very sour grapes appear on our particular branch. But Christ will be very patient with us. He who is long-suffering with the fruitless fig tree will be long-suffering with the fruitless branch.
II. WE MUST LABOR TO CONTINUE IN THIS CONNECTION .
1. We are to receive Jesus altogether . It will not do to take what we like and reject what we like. We must receive him in every relation which he declares himself to sustain to us. We are not to say, when we come across any hard saying, that it must be practically expunged because we cannot understand it. The real hardness is not in the sayings; it is in our own heart. Time and a change of experience make a difference in many of our impressions; and we alter, while Jesus and the Scriptures remain the same. There is a softening of the stony heart, a susceptibility to the powers of the world to come. When we feel the need of Jesus, there is no difficulty about taking him just as be is.
2. There must be constant communion . The first act of real prayer makes the first step towards this. A prayerless life means a life without Christ, without faith, without work, without consistency. On such a branch the husbandman looks with suspicion. Christ wants to shine out in the life, so that people may say the branch is worthy of the trunk. He cannot bless us without our consent, or without our active approach to him.
III. THE ULTIMATE RESULT OF THIS UNION . The more we abide in Christ the more he abides in us, and then the constant and powerful influx of his energy causes a great putting out of fruit. Just as the sap from the trunk makes every day a difference in the branch, causing it to shoot forth twigs, and buds, and leaves, and flowers, so the presence of Christ in our souls makes us to grow and to manifest the fruit of that presence.—Y.
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