“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.”
What is Jesus talking about here? Just like any good gardener with a green thumb, if you have a fruit tree that has branches that bear no fruit, you have to cut them off. It’s simple really — If the branch has some genetic defect and just doesn’t produce fruit, all it is doing is taking the resources away from the other healthy branches. When you get rid of the “dead” branches, you then must prune the live branches to make them even more healthy. Gardening 101.
The point I think Jesus was trying to get across was that you must cut the ties with all the bad stuff in your life. Just like some branches that don’t produce fruit, we all have those things in our lives that don’t produce fruit either — anything from drinking, drugs, bad friends, addictions, and the list goes on. Take a step back and analyze these branches. Do they produce even 1% of a good thing? Or do they lead to headaches, heartaches, empty wallets, and messed up lives? Don’t fool yourself, you know the answer.
We also have branches in our lives that produce good fruit. These branches might be those good friendships, your Church time, Bible reading in the morning, small group devotions, your morning jog, etc. After you carry out these activities, you just feel good inside because you just ate that “good fruit” your good branches produced. Don’t you like this feeling?
In order to have more of those “good fruit” moments, you have got to cut away those unfruitful branches in your life. It might be hard, but would you rather eat a sweet & juicy peach or a rotten & wormy pear? Suck it up and do what needs to be done.