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My Source & Sustainer

“I (Jesus) am the true vine…” - John 15:1

The word “true” in the original language means, “genuine,

real, and sincere.” It means that He, Jesus, resembled the very

nature of a vine and that, in studying the vine, Israel would

uncover His character.

In a very literal sense, Jesus was saying: “I’m not just

calling myself a vine. I AM your vine. This isn’t just a name. It is

the very reality of who I am.”

As the “vine,” He was the part of the plant that provides

“sap and productiveness,” the source and sustainer of the

branch. My favorite part of the definition was the idea of the vine

being the “life-giving conduit” for the plant. This is who Jesus

was to Israel and who He is to us now. We can’t live without


When you break a branch off of the trunk of a tree, it

immediately begins to die. Why? Because life comes through

the connection. Apart from the trunk, a branch cannot survive.

When Jesus called Himself the “true vine,” He was

emphasizing the disciples’ complete and total dependence on

Him and their desperate need for constant connection. Apart

from Him, they would not survive.

Luke 10:38-42

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a

village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him.

39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet

listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the

preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked,

“Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by

myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and

upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or

indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not

be taken away from her.”

This story has always been one of my favorites. Martha

often gets a bad rep, but in truth, her heart was to serve the

Lord and that is a beautiful thing. However, in all of her serving,

Jesus said she had forgotten the “one thing that is necessary.”

This word in the original Greek means, “needed,” but in a much

deeper sense, it means, “that which is absolutely necessary to

supply life;” the very thing that is needed “for the journey.”

Jesus was telling Martha: “Martha, I am your Vine.”

Not a day goes by that I miss a meal. Like clockwork, you

will find me at the table for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even

the occasional afternoon snack. Why? Because I love food and

because I know I need food to survive.

Plants feels this same desperation. “Tropism” is simply

the bending and turning of the plant to reach for the things that

stimulate life. Last year, my children and I watched video after

video in our science class of grass seeds grown in a box

bending toward the light peeking through a small hole poked in

the side. This led us on hikes into our woods to seek out trees

that grew towards the sunlight – often bending around objects in

their path to create hilarious paths upward. We found the same

awkward growth by the water’s edge, where the plants

instinctually began to spread out towards the drink it offered.

If I believe that Jesus is my vine – than I must

acknowledge that I cannot live without Him and, like the grass

seeds in the science video, I must reach for Him by any means

possible. He is what is “absolutely necessary.” Like food, like

water - in Him, is life (John 10:10). To live without Jesus is to

live my life starving.

Connected to the “life-giving conduit,” you are supplied with

everything that is “absolutely necessary” to sustain life.

Do you believe that? Do you look to Him as the source and

sustainer of your life? Do you see time spent with Him as an

option or the “one thing” that is “necessary?”

*This is an excerpt from our Planted Bible Study on Abiding. The complete study can be purchased on our resource page.


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