The Pruning of the Branches (John 15:2)

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Every good farmer and gardener knows that to get maximum yield from plants, you have to weed and prune. A field, garden, orchard, or vineyard that is left to itself will grow wild, and the harvest will suffer. It is especially true for plants like grape vines that regular pruning is necessary. The dead wood must be trimmed away, and the fruitless branches must be cut off. Without pruning, the fruitless branches would take water and nutrients away from the fruitful ones, and the dead branches would invite disease and rot that could infect the otherwise healthy parts of the plant. 

Jesus said, “I am the vine, ye are the branches,” and God the Father is the sovereign husbandman of this spiritual vineyard. As an all-wise farmer, God the Father employs the same techniques on the branches of the true Vine as an earthly farmer does on a grapevine. God’s will is for our lives to be more and more fruitful, and for that to happen, providential pruning is necessary.

God’s pruning comes in two forms. John 15:2 says, “Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” When God prunes, the fruitless parts are removed, and the fruitful parts are trimmed to enable even greater fruitfulness. Cutting, amputating, and trimming are violent processes, but they are necessary for the health of the vine and its branches. Though God’s work in our lives may often be uncomfortable in the moment, it is necessary, and it is worth it to let God prune us so that we can live a more fruitful life.