John 15:4 – Remain in me and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain on the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
In this chapter Jesus gives us a picture of our life in Him. Think about a vine or tree. It starts as a seed, but then grows roots, a trunk and finally branches. The plant needs food and water to survive.
Water and food comes in through the roots and then the vine and finally makes it to the branches. If you break off a branch it will lose its source of food and it will not survive; it will wither up and die. It may look healthy for a little while, especially if you put it in water, but without the vine it is only a matter of time.
Our lives in Christ are the same. He is the vine and we are the branches. If we stay connected to Him we will be able to get all we need to survive, but if we cut ourselves off from Him we cannot survive. Just like the branch we may last for a little while, but no for very long. Eventually we will wither up and die. And if we are not connected to Christ there will be no fruit.
As a branch we are the ones who are responsible for bearing the fruit. Jesus is the vine. The vine does not bear the fruit, just the branches. Ultimately it is the vine working through the branches, but it does come off the branches. This is how it works with us as well.
Jesus sustains us and provides everything we need to live and everything we need to produce fruit. So in looking at this picture we can understand that we cannot bear fruit without the life we get from Christ. He flows through us to feed those around us. That is why we must stay connected to Him