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#16 The True Vine

grape vines photo

Grapes are a wonderful fruit. They can be made into jam, jelly, preserves, raisins, juice, vinegar, wine or even eaten raw. They have been shown to have health benefits regarding cancer, the heart, blood pressure, digestion, allergies, diabetes and the eye. Grapes are grown in varying climates around the world. The top grape producing countries are China, Italy, USA, France, Spain, Chile, India and Argentina. In 2016 the top producing provinces in China were Xinjiang (2.7 million tons), Hebei (1.7), Shandong (1.1), Yunnan (1.0), Zhejiang (0.8), Liaoning (0.7), Henan (0.7), Shaanxi (0.7), Jiangsu (0.6) and Guangxi (0.5).

Sometimes the entire plant is referred to as the vine with a trunk and shoots. The root of the trunk goes deep into the ground and supplies water and nutrients to the vine. Under ideal circumstances, the plant receives plenty of water early in the growth process followed by a long dry spell. During this dry spell, the trunk accesses the root to provide water to the shoots. The shoots wouldn’t live very long separated from the trunk. In the Bible, Jesus calls the trunk “the vine” and the shoots he calls “branches”.  Jesus uses this physical relationship of the vine to the branches to show the significance of a relationship with him. Our life can have deeper meaning and greater purpose beyond the ways the world measures success.

Bible Reading   John 15:1-8, Galatians 5:22-23

Jesus said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15: 5

The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Galatians 5:22-23

Jesus is the giver, teacher and example of all of these qualities.

Discussion

  1. Of what importance is the vine to the branches?
  2. What would happen if a branch becomes detached from the vine?
  3. How can the fruit of the spirit bring fulfillment and purpose to our lives?
  4. As the branches are connected to the vine, how can we remain connected to Jesus?

Word List
health benefits – the result of something that improves our physical health
nutrients – substances used by a living organism to survive, grow and reproduce
productive – achieving or producing a significant amount or result
fulfilling – providing happiness or satisfaction

Read more: Life Sketch of Jesus

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