Today’s entry is number 3 on the New Testament images of the church:
Branches on a Vine
Nearing his imminent sacrifice upon the cross, Jesus emphasized that the church’s function was to be viewed as branches on a vine. In the Old Testament, Isaiah depicted the nation of Israel as the vine, but in the New Testament, Jesus assumed this title. Alluding to mankind’s ongoing mistake begun in the Garden of Eden, where humans attempted to become like God, Jesus ensures no question should exist concerning the church’s role. The church is never to mistake its identity with Jesus, but believers are always to view their role as an extension of Jesus.
Jesus’ image of the church serving as branches on a vine should cause believers to rely more completely on him for their life and power support. Only if Christ’s disciples remained attached to the person of Jesus will they even be able to produce any fruit for the kingdom. Jesus exhorted his disciples to understand that apart from the life support of the vine, the branches could not do anything on their own. The branch is actually useless if it removes its attachment to the vine.
In this image of the church, Jesus emphasized that the only way the church could ever accomplish great tasks for the kingdom is if they constantly reminded one another concerning their dependancy upon Christ.
NORTH SIDE: what could we do for this community if we truly connected to Christ for our direction and support? What if we started dreaming God-sized ministries instead of our meager efforts? What if we looked to his creativity instead of our own to reach this town? What if we sought him more than we did each other for how to do his work?
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Distinctive Discipleship. He is married to Amanda and the father of two sons and one daughter. Travis graduated from North Greenville University with a B.A. in Christian Studies and earned his M.Div. and D.Min. from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, with his doctoral focus on family discipleship.