articlesqa April 25, 2018 the vinedresser
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo EleyinafeCreator and author of

In John 15 Je­sus in­structs us on how to be His dis­ci­ples. He be­gins by say­ing, “I Am The True Vine and My Fa­ther Is The Vine­dress­er.” So far we have shown that the roots of dis­ci­ple­ship are an­chored high far be­yond the heav­ens in The Holy Trin­i­ty. Not only this. Through The True Vine, by the Pow­er of The Holy Spir­it, we be­come sons of God The Fa­ther. Let us high­light a few things Je­sus is say­ing about Him­self by Nam­ing God Fa­ther.

  • Be­got­ten. Je­sus says He Is The Son of God. Je­sus is not a prod­uct of us. He Is Be­got­ten of God and there­fore He Pos­sess­es His Fa­ther’s Na­ture. Like His Fa­ther God, Je­sus Is with­out be­gin­ning or end. Je­sus Is The Son of God Who Is God.

  • Dis­ci­ple. As Eli­jah as­cend­ed, El­isha, his dis­ci­ple, called out, “My fa­ther, my fa­ther, the char­i­ots of Is­rael and its horse­men” 2 Kings 2:12. Why did El­isha call Eli­jah fa­ther? Sim­ple. Be­cause the rab­bi is the fa­ther of his dis­ci­ple. This is why El­isha left his nat­ur­al fa­ther to be­come son to his spir­i­tu­al fa­ther and rab­bi Eli­jah 1 Kings 19:19-21. Every dis­ci­ple is a son of his rab­bi. Who then was the Rab­bi of Je­sus Christ? Who did Je­sus leave Joseph and Mary to fol­low? Je­sus left car­pen­try to Fol­low His Fa­ther God. As God’s Son, Je­sus Is God’s Dis­ci­ple.

  • Love. As we have said in the pre­vi­ous chap­ter, for the son, love is obe­di­ence. Je­sus fre­quent­ly af­firms that He only acts and speaks in im­i­ta­tion of His Fa­ther John 5:19, John 12:49. Je­sus Obeys His Fa­ther be­cause He Loves His Fa­ther John 14:31.

Now lift your eyes and look at Je­sus so that we can see Him Whom Je­sus dis­ap­pears to show John 14:8-9. Let us see Him Who de­nied His Coun­te­nance to Moses Ex­o­dus 33:18,20 but says “Yes!” to us by show­ing us His Son Je­sus Christ John 1:18, John 14:9. Let us be­hold Him Who Loves Je­sus and Whom Je­sus Loves. Let us gaze upon our Fa­ther, The Vine­dress­er.

Im­age of God

“I Am The True Vine and My Fa­ther Is The Vine­dress­er.” Je­sus Names Him­self Son and True Vine. He Names God Fa­ther and then im­me­di­ate­ly Names Him Vine­dress­er. Why is this sig­nif­i­cant? The vine is the im­age of the vine­dress­er. The vine­dress­er is hid­den un­til we see his vine. He is per­ceived as good if his vine is good and bad if his vine is bad. This is be­cause noth­ing man­i­fests in this world with­out first be­ing con­ceived in the mind of its cre­ator. A house doesn’t just man­i­fest out of thin air. It first ap­peared in the mind of the ar­chi­tect. There­fore, the house car­ries the stamp and re­flects the na­ture of the ar­chi­tect. The house is the im­age of its mak­er. As The True Vine, Je­sus Tru­ly Re­flects the Na­ture of His Fa­ther, The Vine­dress­er. He Is The Im­age of God. Any who want to see God must look at Je­sus Christ.

Word of God

But we do not live in a per­fect world. The vine­dress­er, like an ar­chi­tect, shapes and grows the vine ac­cord­ing to his vi­sion of the vine. An ar­chi­tect gets a sud­den in­spi­ra­tion, an in­cli­na­tion, a flash of in­sight. As he uses grand flow­ing words to de­scribe what he has seen to his friend, the im­age ap­pears more real and even more mag­nif­i­cent. As he be­gins to draw the vi­sion out in lines and an­gles, what be­gan as a sin­gle ray of light is un­wrapped to re­veal the sun. Then he be­gins to build the house and again the vi­sion changes. From speech to pen­cil to stone, every ex­pres­sion of that first thought caus­es the vi­sion to change.

The old­er he gets, the less the ar­chi­tect weeps over the first won­der of that shin­ing vi­sion now ob­scured by rugged stone. He ac­quires that world­ly wis­dom of the desert places. He con­cludes that the green child must be­come jad­ed as he grows up. But lamen­ta­tions aside, the ques­tion re­mains, “What was the truest ex­pres­sion of the ar­chi­tect’s vi­sion?” Was it his word or the draw­ing or the house it­self? For a hu­man be­ing, it is im­pos­si­ble to say. Every ar­chi­tect, vine­dress­er and poet will tell you that what they imag­ined is nev­er the same as what they ex­pressed. The wood, the tor­tu­ous na­ture of the vine and our lan­guage al­ters the vi­sion as we bring it to life.

Not so for God. God does not strug­gle to ex­press him­self. God does not get old and jad­ed. Noth­ing can ever ob­scure His Glo­ry. He NEV­ER makes some­thing and then says, “Eh, that’s not quite how I imag­ined it.” In­stead, when He looked upon His cre­ation, He Called it good Gen­e­sis 1:4,10,12,18,21,25,31. Since only God Is Good Luke 18:19, then Gen­e­sis is re­veal­ing that cre­ation was re­flect­ing His Na­ture. In Isa­iah 55:11 God re­veals the per­fect uni­ty be­tween His Word and His Pur­pose. What God Says, What God Thinks and What God Does are in per­fect uni­ty with Who God Is. Yet we hu­man be­ings, the work of His Hands, have been in to­tal re­bel­lion against His Word and our own na­ture since Adam and Eve sinned in Eden. We chal­lenge His Thoughts, re­sist His Word and refuse to walk in His Way.

Now comes a man named Je­sus Christ pro­claim­ing Him­self to be The True Vine, The True and Per­fect Ex­pres­sion of His Fa­ther, The Vine­dress­er. At the very least, Je­sus is say­ing that He is truer than Is­rael Isa­iah 5:1-7, Psalms 80:8-13, 17, Je­re­mi­ah 2:21, Hosea 10:1-2, greater than Abra­ham Gen­e­sis 17:1-2 and bet­ter than Adam 1 Corinthi­ans 15:45. Those who look upon Je­sus Christ, see the In­car­na­tion of God’s Per­fect Will and Word. Je­sus Is The Word of God. All who be­lieve in Je­sus Christ die to Adam and are born again. All who fol­low Him are made new 2 Corinthi­ans 5:17.


Note care­ful­ly what has gone on in this ar­ti­cle. Every time I tried to write about The Vine­dress­er, I found my­self speak­ing about the True Vine. And every time I tried to write about Je­sus Christ, I found my­self writ­ing about God. It may feel like a back and forth but this high­lights the les­son from Holy Love. The Son Lifts up the Fa­ther while the Fa­ther Glo­ri­fies the Son. By see­ing Je­sus Christ, we see The Fa­ther. By see­ing the Vine­dress­er, we see The True Vine.

Please keep this re­la­tion­ship in mind as we move on to John 15:2.

Small hand in big hand, Joel walks down the street wear­ing his fa­ther’s left palm like an over­sized mit­ten. Al­ready a mas­ter at dodg­ing the large dan­ger­ous chasms in the side walk, Joel’s eyes be­gin to wan­der in search for some­thing in­ter­est­ing. “Dad­dy, who is that?” And his dad, fol­low­ing the path of his fin­ger, replies, “Oh, that’s Mr. Smith.” Un­in­ter­est­ed in this un­in­ter­est­ing an­swer, Joel asks, “Who’s Mr. Smith?” His dad paus­es, re­mem­ber­ing the day his friend, James Smith, walked down the aisle and gave his life to Je­sus. He re­mem­bers Mr. Smith’s sub­se­quent bat­tle to be free from al­co­hol, the ma...
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is the day Ja­cob died and Is­rael took his first breath. There are many, many things to say about this pas­sage. We could for ex­am­ple ask our­selves as we read, “Have I wres­tled with God and won?” Or we could talk about how Is­rael is an al­tar, a wrestling and plead­ing with The Holy God. Are you an al­tar? We could talk about the jar­ring sud­den­ness of verse 24. How does Ja­cob, across the bridge of a mild semi­colon, go from be­ing alone to wrestling with God into death and res­ur­rec­tion? How does Ja­cob know to ask for a bless­ing in verse 26? Could it be that we can only know God’s Na­ture through striv­ing with Him? Could i...
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Rays of light care­ful­ly craft­ed to pierce the dark­ness of any sor­row, the words of Je­sus in are Bril­liant and Strong. With the Almighty Pa­tience of The Eter­nal God and the pas­sion­ate brevi­ty of a Man about to die, Je­sus Christ en­com­pass­es the en­tire­ty of the dis­ci­ple’s walk. Je­sus speaks here only to be­liev­ers. For them, these words are open doors. In the midst of the val­ley of the shad­ow of death, these vers­es are the rod and staff; they are a house where the dis­ci­ple calm­ly rests as she walks with Je­sus Christ. Those who go fur­ther with­out abid­ing here will only find them­selves by com­ing back. Those w...
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“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” - Colossians 2:3