As we open up our Bibles to John 15, we are invited to witness a powerful and intimate moment between Jesus and His disciples. Jesus knew that His time on earth was coming to an end, and He wanted to leave them with a final message, a message that would change their lives forever. In Chapter 14 He has already told them that the Holy Spirit would be coming after He leaves, and that He would provide everything they need. Now when Jesus says in chapter 15, ""I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5 He's painting a vivid picture for His disciples. Just like a vine is the life source for the branches, Jesus is the source of life for us. Without Him, we wither and die like a branch that's been cut off. Jesus is telling us that He is the source of life, the one who sustains us and gives us the strength to bear fruit. He is the vine, and we are the branches. Without Him, we are powerless, lifeless, and unfruitful. It's like trying to use a blender without plugging it in. Sure, the blades are sharp and the pitcher is shiny, but if you don't have a power source, you're not going to get very far. In the same way, we can go through the motions of being a Christian, attending church, reading our Bibles, and trying to do good deeds. But if we're not connected to Jesus, we're not going to bear any fruit. Think of it like a phone charger. You can have the latest iPhone with all the bells and whistles, but if you don't have a charger, it's not going to be much use to you. You might be able to squeeze a few minutes of battery life out of it, but eventually, it's going to die. In the same way, we need to stay plugged in to Jesus if we want to live a fruitful life. That means spending time with Him, praying, reading the Bible, and allowing His love to flow through us. But here's the thing: staying connected to Jesus isn't always easy. There are distractions and temptations all around us, pulling us away from Him. It's like trying to have a deep conversation with someone while they're scrolling through Instagram. It's hard to stay focused and engaged when there are so many other things vying for our attention. That's why it's so important to make a deliberate effort to stay connected to Jesus. Just like you have to plug in your phone every night to make sure it's charged for the next day, you have to spend time with Jesus every day to stay connected to him. But how do we remain connected to Him? Jesus gives us the answer: "If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father's commands and remain in his love." John 15:10 Here, Jesus is reminding us of the importance of obedience. Obedience is not simply about following a set of rules or regulations. Obedience is about aligning our will with God's will, surrendering our desires and ambitions to Him, and trusting that His plans for us are good and perfect. When we obey God, we remain in His love, and when we remain in His love, we are filled with His joy. Jesus says, "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete." John 15:11 The joy that Jesus is referring to is not a fleeting emotion that comes and goes with our circumstances. It is a deep and abiding sense of peace and contentment that comes from knowing that we are loved by God and that we are living in obedience to his will. So, how do we cultivate this joy in our lives? It begins by remaining connected to the vine, by staying close to Jesus and allowing His love to flow through us. This requires a daily commitment to prayer, worship, and studying God's word. It requires a willingness to surrender our will to His and to trust that His plans for us are good and perfect. But there is one more thing that Jesus wants us to understand in this passage. He says, "This is my command: Love each other." John 15:17 Love is the hallmark of the Christian faith. It is the foundation of our relationship with God and with others. Love is what enables us to bear fruit, to live a life that is pleasing to God, and to share the good news of Jesus Christ with the world. As we remain connected to the vine, we are filled with the love of Christ, a love that overflows into the lives of those around us. We love because He first loved us, and as we love others, we reflect the very nature of God. In conclusion, as we reflect on John 15, we are reminded of the importance of remaining connected to the vine, of living a life of obedience, of cultivating joy, and of loving one another. May we be a people who are deeply rooted in Christ, who bear much fruit, and who share the love of Christ with the world.