In His Paschal Discourse, the Lord Jesus adopted the analogy of viticulture to drive home a pertinent message to His disciples and believers after them. The time was at hand for the Lord to be crucified. The physical bond He had shared with the disciples was soon to be severed and the disciples were disturbed. Jesus sensed their despair and tactfully adopted the analogy of the vine, its branches and the husbandman to assure them of a special continuity in their relationship with Him- a less obvious but more profound spiritual bond. They would also assume a new place in the world; different from the place they had in Judaism.

Biblical texts based on agrarian lifestyles can be a little obscure in meaning, particularly to a person with limited agricultural background. As such, it is possible to, inadvertently, miss certain contextual and lexical meanings of such texts. John 15: 1-5 is a lesson in viticulture, the science of the study of grapes. In this text the Lord taught about pruning. Pruning is a type of viticultural activity which was quite common in Israel in the first century A.D. The production of grapes was dependent upon the prudence of the vinedresser, as well as his expertise in weeding and pruning the vineyard. Pruning eliminates excessive and unprofitable superfluous foliage. It stimulates further growth and fruitfulness of the branch as the long as that branch remains attached to the vine. A severed branch loses its existential nourishment as it has no inherent life of its own. Pruning makes the branch more prolific. The farmer’s aim is to make a fruitful branch even more fruitful. The process of pruning transcends the removal of bad branches and deals with the healthy branches to maximize their productivity. The fruitless branches are removed while the fruitful ones are pruned. The vintner takes the fragile branch in his skilled hands and examines it carefully before deciding which part needs to be pruned. Pruning is not random, it is purposeful. Careless pruning can endanger the very life of the branch. The branch has no say in the process of pruning and its fruitfulness always attests to the skill of the vintner. Pruning is God’s method of humbling us without humiliating us so that we may be more profitable for His kingdom. A pruned vine is a healthy, prolific vine. It is not a diseased vine. Lear more, get yourself a copy of the book, The Perfect Prescription, by Reigh Simuzoshya: http://youtu.be/9TOcHIb8N5k

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