“I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Here our Lord Jesus Christ tells His disciples that without Him, they can do nothing. We are His disciples today, and so this is also a message to us. Without Him, we can do nothing.
The reader has perhaps read this passage before — perhaps many times — and just like a familiar landmark or a familiar sound can become unnoticed over time, so too this passage may have become so familiar that we have lost its importance.
How often have we passed by a vacant lot where a building has been torn down, and wondered within ourselves what the building that once stood there looked like, even though we’ve passed by it hundreds of times? And how often have those who live near the railroad tracks become so familiar with the rumble of the trains passing by that they have stopped hearing the trains roar past in the night?
Even so, I believe many Christians today have lost this truth, and do not realize just what this means to them.
Without Him, we can do nothing — nothing! We cannot obey. We cannot understand His Word. We cannot win one soul for Christ. We cannot help ourselves. We know not where to turn. We can do nothing!
Just as a branch that is cut off the vine is dead and without life, so are we if we do not abide in Christ. A dead branch may look like it has life for a short time after it has been severed from the vine, but it won’t be long before it becomes obvious that it is indeed dead, useless.
The reader has perhaps at some point seen an astronaut go for a Space Walk. He actually leaves the inside of the spacecraft to take care of something on the outside of the spacecraft. But before he leaves the portal, he makes very sure that he is securely attached to the spacecraft by a tether. That tether is the astronaut’s lifeline — if he loses that connection, he cannot regain it unless someone else reaches out and pulls him back in, because no matter how he might twist and kick and reach in that weightless environment, it will not help him. He will not be able to regain that connection once he floats just a few inches away. He would float away and eventually run out of oxygen, and die in space.
The Lord Jesus Christ is our lifeline. If we are not securely attached to Him as that tether is attached to the spacecraft — and if we are not securely attached as branches to the great lifegiving Vine — we are absolutely helpless and without hope. He is our very life. We need Him.
We need Him every minute. There will never be a time that we won’t need Him.
Yet, in our insanity, we somehow think we don’t need Him! We might never say we don’t need Him, but our actions and the amount of time that we spend seeking His presence in our lives, through prayer and Bible study, reveal the truth.
Dear reader, let us abide in Christ always! Let us hang onto Him with everything that we’ve got — as though we are that astronaut on a Space Walk. And no matter what we do, let us never let a prideful thought enter our minds. Because without Him — we can do nothing!