Verse 1 says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. " and in verse 5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. ”
People in Palestine have cultivated grapes and olives since ancient times. Jesus often spoke to His people about the Kingdom of God in a simpler way through parables referencing things from nature.
But when we read verse 6, we might be shocked “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire, and burned."
How do you feel about these words?
Does it scare you?
If we do not believe in Jesus or not stay connected to Him, we will incur God's wrath and be thrown away?
In chapter 14, Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit to us.
In the New Testament book of Galatians (authored by a man named Paul), it says that the fruit of the Spirit is "love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
I believe that it does not mean that we have to be like this morally, or that we have to work hard to be like this. No matter how hard we try, we cannot maintain these virtues all the time.
How do Buddhists view this?
My friend told me that in Buddhism, there are 108 vexations, and if we can shake off all of them, we will be happy.
It depends on the Buddhist sect but is it a lifelong practice to get rid of vexations?
In any case, whether it is Buddhism or Christianity, it seems to me that it is very difficult to get rid of all the vexations.
I believe that only one person possesses all these qualities and that is Jesus.
Recently, I have started to enjoy growing flowers. In the past, I used to watch my father and older brother working in the garden and just enjoyed watching them.
Although I can't do much in my small garden, I talk to the flowers every day, water them, fertilize them, replant them, and take care of them. Sometimes I prune them as well.
There is always a pain in my heart when I remove the dead flowers and leaves, but I always take them back, saying, "Thank you for blooming and making me happy.”
It's such a small experience, but since even a plant that blooms and returns to the earth is so dear to us, I believe that God would never punish us by cutting us off because we could not do something, we failed, or we did something wrong.
Psalm 126:5-6 in the Old Testament says, "Those who sow with tears
will reap with songs of joy. Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.”
I have a hope that God will protect us and guide us through trials, even sorrow, and misfortune, and bring us joy.
In verse 4, Jesus said, " Remain in me, as I also remain in you."
Instead of struggling by ourselves and taking matters into our own hands, why not surrender our hearts to Jesus?
Since Jesus promised to send the Holy Spirit and stay in us to fulfill His promise, let's stay connected to Him.
In our daily lives, "connection(relationship)" is becoming less and less. While people are content to live comfortably on their own without anyone interfering, some are confined in solitude and loneliness.
With the corona infection, people are becoming more and more isolated. Some are concerned about the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots, seeking to benefit only themselves, their families, and their countries.