'*/ am the True Vine.''-. John Xv. t.
All earthly things are the shadows of heavenly realities,—the expression, in created, visible forms, of the invisible glory of God. The Life and the Truth are in heaven; on earth we have figures and shadows of the heavenly truths. When Jesus says: I am the True Vine, He tells us that all the vines of earth are pictures and emblems of Himself. He is the Divine reality, of which they are the created expression. They all point to Him, and preach Him, and reveal Him. If you would know Jesus, study the vine.
How many eyes have gazed on and admired the great vine at Hampton Court, with its beautiful fruit. Come and gaze on the Heavenly Vine till your eye turns from all else to admire Him. How many, in a sunny clime, sit and rest under the shadow of their vine. Come and be still under the shadow of the True Vine, and rest under it from the heat of the day. What countless numbers rejoice in the fruit of the vine. Come, and take, and eat of the heavenly fruit of the True Vine, and let your soul say: I sat under His shadow with great delight, and His fruit was sweet to my taste.
/ am the True Vine. This is a heavenly mystery. The earthly vine can teach you much about this Vine of Heaven. Many interesting and beautiful points of comparison suggest themselves, and help us to get conceptions of what Christ meant. But such thoughts do not teach us to know what the Heavenly Vine really is, in its cooling shade, and its lifegiving fruit. The experience of this is part of the hidden mystery, which none but Jesus Himself, by His Holy Spirit, can unfold and impart.
/ am the True Vine. The vine is the Living Lord, who Himself speaks, and gives, and works all that He has for us. If you would know the meaning and power of that word, do not think to find it by thought or study; these may help to show you what you must get from Him, to awaken desire and hope and prayer, but they cannot show you the Vine. Jesus alone can reveal Himself. He gives His Holy Spirit to open the eyes to gaze upon Himself, to open the heart to receive Himself. He must Himself speak the word to you and me.
I am the True Vine. And what am I to do, if I want the mystery, in all its heavenly beauty and blessing, opened up to me? With what you already know of the parable, bow down and be still, worship and wait, until the Divine Word enters your heart, and you feel His Holy Presence with you, and in you. The overshadowing of His Holy Love will give you the perfect calm and rest of knowing that the Vine will do all.
I am the True Vine. He who speaks is God, in His infinite power able to enter into us. He is man, one with us. He is the Crucified One, who won a perfect righteousness and a Divine life for us through His death. He is the glorified One, who from the throne gives His Spirit to make His Presence real and true. He speaks—oh! listen, not to His words only, but to Himself, as He whispers secretly day by day: I Am The True Vine. All that the Vine can ever be to its branch, I Will Be To You.
Holy Lord Jesus I the Heavenly Vine of God's own planting, I beseech Thee, reveal Thyself to my soul. Let the Holy Spirit, not in thought, but in experience, give me to know all that Thou, the Son of God, art to me as the True Vine.