Today we finish our series on the ‘I AMs’ of Jesus. And we end off with this last one.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

Now, this revelation is nothing new. Through this revelation, we have seen how Jesus Wants to Supply; and we have seen how abiding in Him is Jesus’ way for us to grow in Him. Yet, Jesus tells us that

“These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11

The reason why Jesus reveals Himself to us in these 7 ways is so that He can impart His joy to us. And when we hold on to these 7 revelations of Jesus, His joy will remain with us and our joy will be full. So that means that while they are rich in and of themselves, they also work together, corroborating and confirming each other, giving us the full picture of who Jesus is, where His heart is and the extent of His love for us. So let us take another look at John 15:5 in the light of all that we have learnt.

Jesus gives His disciples this revelation of Himself as the true vine after revealing to them His plans and purpose for His first coming. He has told them that “I come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10

But for His plans of protection and provision to come to complete fruition, He must first “…go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:3

And we know that this preparation is necessary because before Jesus died, the sins of each and every man were still on their own heads. So by dying, and fulfilling the prophesy given through Isaiah,

“Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53:4-5

Jesus brings us back into a right relationship with God, and literally back to the place of right standing, the place of right relationship, the place where we are once again God’s beloved children, the place where we stand in front of God blameless and perfect, the place where we are undeservingly eligible to receive God’s unconditional protection and provision, because God now has a righteous reason to love us the way He wants to again; the place where Jesus is.

So by this series of revelations, Jesus has set for us three time frames; before His death, after His death and when He comes again.

Now, as the saying goes, ‘yesterday is history and tomorrow’s a mystery’ so it is no wonder then that when we read of things in the Bible, things that happen before Jesus’ died and when He comes again, it gives us psychological comfort, but not tangible comfort.

For we know the things that Jesus said, and we take comfort in His love; but we can’t translate those promises into reality. And when we read Revelations and listen to preaching that covers the hereafter, we again take comfort in the knowledge that we will be with Him in heaven one day. But there is this third time frame that, while it may not be permanent, while it will surely pass away comprehensively one day, it still is our truth each and every time we open our eyes, and the problems that it gives, we can’t run away from. So the ‘I AMs’ are really Jesus way of telling us how to deal with life in the here and now; what we should do while we wait for Him to come again.

And after telling us that we will be protected, and provided for, in this last revelation, Jesus revels just how all that will be put in place in the here and now; and this it it.

“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.” John 15:5 [MSG]

Let’s face it, when Jesus says, ‘I am the bread of life’, ‘I am the resurrection and the life’, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’, ‘I am the door’, ‘I am the light of the world’ and ‘I am the good shepherd’, we need some way to get in on it. And the way to get in on it is to be joined with Jesus, have an intimate and organic relationship with Jesus.

Given the resurgence in interest in organic food, I love it that the words ‘intimate’ and ‘organic’ were used to describe the relationship that we should have with Jesus, because in truth, no other words could do it better.

‘Intimate’ denotes closeness, a closeness that could never happen if anyone else was involved. Come on, it’s not rocket science, is it? You can’t get intimate with anyone unless you are alone with that person and in the privacy of your own space, right?

So Jesus is telling us right now that we need to establish that space with Him. It could take the form of your quiet time. It could take the form of your daily commute to work. Whatever means and form you find most comfortable to consistently share some ‘alone’ time with Jesus, He wants you to do that, because He wants to have an intimate relationship with you.

But don’t for a moment think that that’s because Jesus needs to ‘get to know you better’. Not at all, because, as the Psalmist has said,

“O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.” Psalm 139:1-4

“For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.” Luke 12:2, 8:17, Matthew 10:26

He knows everything about you, some things even better than you know yourself. What He wants to do from that intimate time, is for you to get to know Him better, to know His plans for you better, for though our Father has said,

“…I know the plans I have for you,” declared the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

His plans are not generic, cut from the same cloth as everyone else’s. His plan are unique and customized just for you.

Now, ‘organic’ denotes having a natural relationship with Jesus, one that has no ‘artificial fertilizers’ to boost growth. He wants you to know that with Him, you don’t need another to come in between, to enhance your relationship with Him. You don’t need your pastor to pray for you, you don’t need your cell group to have ‘power prayer meetings’ over you, you don’t need to rush out and get that latest self-help book, you don’t need to turn cartwheels in the realm of religious rituals. While all that is good in and of themselves, you don’t need to do any such thing. All you need to do is go to Jesus as you are, for He loves you just the way you are.

And isn’t this a wonderful revelation? That while we are waiting for Jesus to return; while we are waiting for the pains of this world to end; while we are facing persecution for just about everything that we are and in just about every area of our lives; isn’t it wonderful to know that we only need to go to Jesus, just as we are, with all our imperfections and flaws, and have an intimate and organic relationship with Him; one devoid of fluff, pomp and pageantry; and He will make it all alright?

In fact, He’ll do even better than that. Remember I told you that Jesus loves to outdo your wildest imagination? Well, here He is again for,

“…When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant.” John 15:5 [MSG]

He’s not just going to help you get by; He is going to make sure that your harvest is abundant. And don’t think that He does this out of pity either. Because here is why He will do such a thing for you.

“This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.” John 15:8 [MSG]

Our success is God’s way of showing off. Or putting it simply,

“When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified,…” John 15:8 [AMPC]

Beloved, you know, at the end of the day, the reality for us with Jesus is this;

“You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.” John 15:16

We did not choose Him. We never knew how. Instead He chose us. And when we decide to ‘turn our lives over to Jesus’ as some pastors would put it, all we are doing is responding to His call. We are allowing Him to come into our lives and have an intimate and organic relationship with us.

We are not turning anything over to Him. We are not giving anything up. Jesus has comprehensively shown us, over the last 8 messages, that He wants to do for us, more than He wants us to do for Him. In fact, of taking from us, our Father says,

“I will not take a bull from your house,
Nor goats out of your folds.
For every beast of the forest is Mine,
And the cattle on a thousand hills.
I know all the birds of the mountains,
And the wild beasts of the field are Mine.
If I were hungry, I would not tell you;
For the world is Mine, and all its fullness.” Psalm 50:9-12

So if you are going through a situation right now, hold on to the promises of Jesus, for as certainly as He has promised, ‘I AM’ will come through for you each and every single time, in each and every single situation.

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