When Jesus said “I am the true vine” He was speaking right into the culture of His place and time. Wine was an integral part of life in Israel, served at the table, was in the temple, bought and sold as a staple of the economy and of daily life. It was not like wine as we know it today, available now in so many varieties and price ranges, scientifically grown and vinted to suit every taste and budget. In Jesus’ time, there was no science, only the centuries of experience growers possessed.
When Jesus says to us “I am the true vine” He invites us to participate not in a pleasing liquid but in a truth of our Father’s care. Paul tells us we Christians are grafted into the family God created out of His children Israel, so that indeed we who believe in the risen Christ have been chosen by Him to grow and be fruitful. Today Apostle John quotes Jesus’ words of blessing and of warning, reminding us that our favored place, grafted into the true family of believers, can be pruned away by the vinedresser if we are false to that vine. We pray together that under the protection of the vinedresser, we bear much fruit in Him.