‘I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:5
The Basic Bible Truth
Jesus is the root stock from which everything we are and do must come. Without His supplying our everything, we are nothing and useless branches.
A Picture And Story Of Explanation For Each Word In The Verse
Eye (I): As technology advances, we are discovering better and better ways to determine identity. For many people, fingerprints work well. But they are not foolproof. I am a woodworker by trade and have heavily calloused fingers. A number of years ago I did some very intricate carving that required a tremendous about of hand sanding with small pieces of very coarse sand paper. Over a two month period I carved and sanded a rather substantial project. I had not anticipated what happened to my fingers. I, in effect, ground my fingerprints so smooth they were unprintable. I found myself gripping a glass and having it slip from my fingers due to the lack of fingerprint texture. It was rather annoying. A few years later, I saw in the news here locally that an individual from somewhere else had been arrested and booked into the local Detention Center. There was a slight problem, though. He refused to identify himself and he had no discernable fingerprints. Eye scanning of the retina is becoming an increasingly popular method of identification. God, on the other hand, does not need ID. There is no doubt as to His existence. We would do well to proclaim that from the rooftops.
Ham (am): Ham is the best part of the pig for me. And it comes with a pig joke.
There was a agricultural extension agent that went to visit a local farm and noticed a nice looking pig in a pen with only three legs. The tripod pig intrigued the agent and when the farmer came up, he couldn’t help but ask what had happened to the pig.
The farmer proceeded to tell him the most amazing tale. It seems that the farmer had been out plowing his field a few months ago and his plow had hit a large stone just under the surface of the dirt, jolting the tractor tremendously. The sudden movement knocked the farmer off of his seat and down onto the ground—directly under the huge wheel of the tractor. The dirt had softened his landing and his entrapment, but he could not free himself from his predicament. As a last resort, he screamed and screamed. That very pig had heard his cries for help, had dug itself under the fence and come running out to the field. It proceeded to root him out from under the tractor wheel and saved his life.
And that’s not all. Two weeks ago, the farmer’s house had caught fire in the middle of the night, and the very same pig had again dug itself out again from the fenced enclosure and had burst into the house finding him and his wife already unconscious. Instinctively it had drug him and his wife to safety.
What’s more, just last week, a neighbor’s child had wandered off from home and, again, that very pig had noticed the little toddler heading toward a pond. Having no fear of the water, the little tyke had waded out into the water and was chest deep by the time the pig had dug its way out, jumped into the water and rescued the little boy from an almost certain drowning.
The agricultural agent was astonished by the amazing story. But finally said, but that still doesn’t explain the missing leg.
“Well”, the farmer drawled, “a pig like that you don’t eat but just a little bit at a time.”
OK, I apologize for the joke. But God is, and always will be, the best part of everything.
(2D+2D-3D)(U-3U+3U)(3H-2H)(!)= DUH! (the): I was a math major in college, and had occasion once to fill in as a temporary math teacher. It was a basic Algebra course, and I enjoyed adding at least one extra credit question to each of my tests. This was one of my favorites. The answer is DUH! God has worked everything out for us. All we need to do is follow His directions. It is that simple. Duh!
Vine (Vine): Green Briars are the toughest plants in the world I believe. I can spray them with a concentrated solution of Roundup and Remedy herbicides, and they keep growing. They are almost impossible to get rid of. They may be considered a weed, but in the plant kingdom they are the kings of toughness and resiliency. Jesus is The Vine. Well-rooted, solid, and tougher than nails. (And yes, that was a reference to the cross.) We need to be attached to such a resilient foundation.
Ewe (You): My wife’s uncle used to raise sheep. They may well be the stupidest animals on the face of the earth. They will follow their leader over a cliff and they will wander into life threatening situations completely oblivious to the danger. Were it not for shepherds, sheep would have gone extinct many years ago. It is so appropriate that God uses the analogy of sheep to describe humans. Our behavior is so much like them, it is uncanny.
R (are): I am a self-employed businessman. This is my company logo that I have not changed in 45 years. It identifies my business. I can’t say that it is recognizable everywhere, but It is on all of my invoices, stationary and business cards. It’s purpose is to help identify me to a potential customer. I also restore classic automobiles. One of my favorites is a 1965 Chevy pickup that has been in the family since it was brand new. I was young when I restored this project, and decided to shave all of the badges and identifying markings off of the vehicle. That is actually quite a chore if you have ever noticed that car companies want the world to know who built their automobiles. But even with all of the identity erased, everyone knows that it is still a 1965 Chevy pickup. Our identity in God does not change. We are who we are, and the world knows that. What is capable of change is our behavior. And believe me when I say that the world notices that very much.
Dah (the): Among the things that I claim as abilities, is that of playing the harmonica. I picked it up as a high school kid and enjoy playing it every once in a while. In front of a group, I will go into a rendition of “Old Suzanna”, and when finished, do a showman impersonation and say “Ta Dah!” I know, it’s cheesy, but I needed another “the” for the verse. Playing the harmonica was an accomplishment for me. It was specific, and had results. Jesus is not just a vine, He is “The Vine.” That is very specific, as there is no other vine that we can turn to. And when we do realize that fact, we can expect results. God does not waste His time.
Branches (Branches): These really are the Branches. I used to attend church with them and found them to be the most loving people. They were interesting, personable, and sometimes funny. He tended to wear a green leisure suit each Sunday, long after they went out of style, and had a unique haircut. But, their flaws were overshadowed by their genuineness and caring personalities. Each Sunday they were the same people. What I mean by that is, that they were real people all of the time. They did not put on a mask and pretend. I will always remember the Branches as being genuine followers of God. What better description for you and I. To be genuinely following God is such a way that the world can see our testimony.
So, the question is, have I explained this verse, I am the vine, you are the branches, in a way that will help you remember the truth of the verse a little bit better? I hope so.