Fed by God
In John 14:12-14, Jesus tells his disciples that if they believe in him, they can do the same works he has been doing, even great things than he has done. Think about that for a moment, Jesus fed the 5,000+ from one person's daily portion of food, he raised Lazarus from the dead, and he cast out demons. How could we do these things or better?
In our passage this week, Jesus explains how through his image of the vine and the branches. This was once again another familiar image in Jewish culture. The grapevine was the image often used for Israel. Yet, Jesus is not focused on the grapes, or even the vine, he's focused on the branch and abiding in him. Only when we abide in Jesus can we stay healthy and strong. We must keep our eyes on what feeds us and gives us our life-force.
Many times, we can be doing all the right "religious" stuff and still feel far from God. That can be because our focus is on the wrong thing or because we have something in our life that is sucking the spiritual joy from our lives. Jesus wants to help us stay focused on what is right in our lives and rid our lives of things that cause us to feel spiritually depressed. He wants us to bear healthy fruit, but not to worry about the fruit because he's got that covered.
Questions to Ponder:
- When was a time you felt near to God but far away from God’s presence?*
- Is it possible to be surrounded by symbols and reminders of Christian faith and still feel disconnected from God? Where does the disconnect originate?**
- What does it mean to you to “cling to the vine”? Have you ever placed more focus on being fruitful than being faithful?*
- Name some prayer practices or experiences that encourage you to abide in Christ. How does being connected to the vine help you produce good fruit?**
*The God We Can Know, by Rob Fuquay. Chapter 5, Reflection/Discussion Questions.
**The God We Can Know, Adult Group Guide, by Rob Fuquay. Week 5, Video/Book Discussion.