I am the vine; you are the branches. John 15:5
When Christian Mustad showed his Van Gogh landscape to art collector Auguste Pellerin, Pellerin took one look and said it wasn’t authentic. Mustad hid the painting in his attic, where it remained for fifty years. Mustad died, and the painting was evaluated off and on over the next four decades. Each time it was determined to be a fake—until 2012, when an expert used a computer to count the thread separations in the painting’s canvas. He discovered it had been cut from the same canvas as another work of Van Gogh. Mustad had owned a real Van Gogh all along.
Do you feel like a fake? Do you fear that if people examined you, they’d see how little you pray, give, and serve? Are you tempted to hide in the attic, away from prying eyes?
Look deeper, beneath the colors and contours of your life. If you’ve turned from your own ways and put your faith in Jesus, then you and He belong to the same canvas. To use Jesus’ picture, “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:5). Christ and you form a seamless whole.
Resting in Jesus makes you a true disciple of His. It’s also the only way to improve your picture. He said, “If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (v. 5).
What things cause you to wonder if you’re a true disciple of Jesus? How might this fear drive you to Him?
Jesus, I rest in You like a branch clings to its vine.
When Jesus spoke of Himself as the true vine and His disciples as His fruit-bearing branches (John 15:1–8), He gave them a word picture they may have heard before. Asaph the songwriter and Isaiah the prophet (Psalm 80:8; Isaiah 5:7) had likened their nation to a vineyard that produced a bitter harvest of violence and injustice. Against that backdrop, Jesus Himself is described as the true and better vine that produces the harvest His Father is looking for. But His disciples still had a lot to learn. They hadn’t yet abandoned Him in a way that would show them why they needed His Spirit to produce within them fruit worthy of this vine (John 15:9–17). Neither had they yet experienced that the harvest the Father was looking for was a Spirit-enabled love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22–23).