The Power of Invitation
Penned by Torin Dooley
The Power Invitation
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. 3 You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4 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.”
In this section of the passage, Jesus is setting himself up in relationship to the Father. Jesus, being true vine ultimately means he is the hope of Israel from the Old Testament. So, he is clearly identifying himself as the true hope of the nation of Israel, the One they have been waiting for.
5 “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. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
The word “remain” is used eight times in these eight verses. The Greek word used here is, meno, which means to dwell or stay. In order for believers to bear fruit, they must remain in Jesus. Although, Jesus is not commanding the disciples to do so, but inviting. Jesus has already held up his end of the deal. He has already, by his presence with them, shown up to the party. He has come, not in order to condemn, but to save (John 3:17).
Notice, Jesus says “if,” you do or do not remain, then one will either bear fruit or not. Jesus is inviting us to be in relationship with him, so that we can bear fruit for the Kingdom through Him and His love. During those times where we feel we are not bearing fruit, all Jesus says is, remain. Make the choice to come to Him. There is nothing a branch needs to do to stay connected to the vine. Just the same, Jesus is not asking us to do anything more than to accept the invitation, and choose to accept His love and let it be known to the world.
Jesus is inviting you with open arms into a relationship everyday, no matter what.