Both our passages of Scripture this week (John 15:1-8 and Romans 11:11-24) are based on horticultural metaphors. I’m not much of a gardener myself, but both of them are really helpful for showing us the dependent nature of the Christian life.

In John, Jesus describes himself as the vine and us as the branches. We need to abide in him, draw our life from him, bear fruit through our union with him, because without him we can do nothing. In Romans, the people of God and their covenant relationship with God are likened to an olive tree into which Gentiles have, rather surprisingly, been grafted. Again, we are reminded that we branches do not support the tree’s root, it’s the root that supports us.

One obvious application of this is to be humbled. Each of us (me included!) would be helpless and bereft without the life we receive in and through Christ and the sure promises God made to his ancient people. We have nothing at all to boast about – except God’s marvellous kindness!


Without Him we can do nothing!

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