A BRANCH CANNOT SURVIVE UNLESS IT ABIDES IN THE TREE
A branch can survive and bear fruit only when it is part of the tree or vine which gives it nourishment and life. The moment it is cutoff from the vine, it dies and no matter how long it will be assisted to continue living by being kept in a glass of water, the fact is that it is dead but is being kept from drying by a life support system. The fact is that they are dead and the next best thing to do for them is to take them out of the pot before they rot there. Jesus is comparing us to a branch that is cut off from the vine. The revelation is that a branch that is cut off from the vine tree is dead and so are those cut off from Christ or those who have denied any relationship with Christ. When a branch, which can refer to you and I, is cut off from the true vine, we are cut off from nourishment and life and we can consider ourselves as dead.
BUT THERE IS HOPE FOR A CUT DOWN TREE
“For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. If its roots grow old in the ground and its stump starts to die in the soil, the smell of water makes it thrive and produce twigs like a sapling.” (Job 14:7-9 [KJV])
These words were not just blind words of faith but Job knew his God. Job “knew that his Redeemer liveth. “(Job 19:25) Job knew that those who believe in God “are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed.” (2Cor 4:8-9 [HCSB])
To redeem means to buy back. And according to the dictionary, a redeemer is someone who buys, buys back, recovers, pays off, or exchanges something for goods. The word “Redeemer” here used, is in the original “goel”-kinsman. The duty of the kinsman, or goel, was this: suppose an Israelite had alienated his estate, as in the case of Naomi and Ruth; suppose a patrimony which had belonged to a family, had passed away through poverty, it was the goel’s business, the redeemer’s business to pay the price as the next of kin, and to buy back the heritage. As the name implies, a kinsman is a family relation, usually the next of kin if there is no brother or another male in the immediate family. And according to the dictionary, a redeemer is someone who buys, buys back, recovers, pays off, or exchanges something for goods. Putting it all together, a kinsman-redeemer is someone, usually the nearest relative, who is charged with the duty of restoring or recovering the rights of another and avenging any wrongs in exchange for something. By law, the kinsman-redeemer had two main responsibilities: (1) to redeem family property that had changed ownership, and (2) to marry a childless widow and raise children in her dead husband’s name. Ruth was not related to Boaz in any way, but Naomi was. Naomi initiated Ruth’s actions when she went to lie down next to Boaz on the threshing floor, which means Ruth was within the law.
Boaz stood in that relation to Ruth as the kinsman redeemer. Jesus is also a kinsman-redeemer, but this time Our Kinsman Redeemer. Since we are brothers and sisters in Christ and heirs together to the throne (Romans 8:17), this means that Jesus is our brother (Hebrews 2:11) He is our nearest relative. “Therefore, Jesus had to be made like His brothers in every respect, so that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people.” Hebrews 2:17
Sin had separated us from the Father leaving us orphans, much like Naomi and Ruth when they were left alone in Moab. So, Jesus came to be our kinsman-redeemer. Through His shed blood on the cross, He has bought our freedom from sin and restored our relationship with the Father. He has avenged the evil of sin. As long as you have Christ in you, you have hope of experiencing the glory of God in your life here on earth. (Colossians 1:27).
Job knew that though a man may fall several times, he is not finished (Proverbs 24:16). He has the ability to rise again (Micah 7:8)
Job knew that if a tree is cut down and not uprooted, it has the chance to grow again because its roots are not cut. If you clear a bush and you just cut the trees, you will see it begin to grow again especially in the rainy season. If you want a permanent solution, you have to not only cut the bush and trees but remove the roots as well.
Job said that the hope for a tree cut down is that “through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant”. The hope for those who are cut down by the scourge of sin is that we should search for that scent of water. Psalm 63:1 says “O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is;” This scent of water that all human beings pant for is the Word of God that is preached. Jesus Christ is the word of God and the water of life. “Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, Every one that drinketh of this water shall thirst again: but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall become in him a well of water springing up unto eternal life” (John 4:13-14).
“Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37).
“And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of a spiritual rock that followed them: and the rock was Christ” (I Cor. 10:4).
Jesus said, “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.” (John 15:5 [KJV])
A TREE CUT DOWN CAN BE GRAFTED TO THE STUMP OF THE ORIGINAL TREE
Job was saying that even if you as a branch have been cut off from the tree, all is not lost because the word of God is assuring you that ‘you shall not surely die but shall live because it is possible to be grafted back to the tree.’ Jesus Christ being Our Kinsman Redeemer came to graft us who were cut off from the vine back to the true vine which is Himself. He came to graft us back to Himself and to God the Father.
IF YOU DO NOT ABIDE IN JESUS, YOU WILL BE CUT AND CAST INTO THE FIRE TO BE BURNED
“If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast [them] into the fire, and they are burned.” (John 15:6 [KJV])
The New Testament in Modern English, commonly known as the “Phillips Translation,” contains a salient rendering of John 15:1-8: “I am the real vine, my Father is the vine-dresser. He removes any of my branches which are not bearing fruit and he prunes every branch that does bear fruit to increase its yield. Now, you have already been pruned by my words. You must go on growing in me and I will grow in you. For just as the branch cannot bear any fruit unless it shares the life of the vine, so you can produce nothing unless you go on growing in me. I am the vine itself, you are the branches. It is the man who shares my life and whose life I share who proves fruitful. For apart from me you can do nothing at all. The man who does not share my life is like a branch that is broken off and withers away. He becomes just like the dry sticks that men collect and use for the firewood. But if you live your life in me, and my words live in your hearts, you can ask for whatever you like and it will [be done] for you. This is how my Father will be glorified—in your becoming fruitful and being my disciples.”
Jesus Christ is telling you and I to abide in Him, to stay in Him and continue in Him and in His word. “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32 [KJV]) The truth is that if you abide in Him who is the true vine, you shall live and bear fruit because He is the way, the truth , the life. “Jesus saith unto Thomas, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6 [KJV]). Without Him you can do nothing. But if you live your life in the True Vine which is Christ the Lord, and His words live in your hearts, you can ask for whatever you like and it will [be done] for you. This is how my Father will be glorified—in your becoming fruitful and being my disciples. Jesus Chris is giving you a blank cheque and all you have to do is to write all what you want on that cheque and you shall be given to you whatever you ask no matter what it is you want because you abide in Him. Can you imagine a branch of a tree being denied nourishment while it is part of the tree? No way. You can ask for whatever you like and it will [be done] for you. Our Father in heaven has ordained it that way so that you are given whatever you ask Him in Jesus name that others may see you being given so that He will be glorified by all for His faithfulness when His Son works miracles for them that believe. Jesus told His disciples and is telling those who believe in Him that “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-14 [KJV])