John 15:1

Robert Hawker

The true vine."–John xv. 1.

Dearest Jesus, how shall I ever be able sufficiently to admire, much less adore thee, for thy wonderful and unequalled condescension? What image, what similitude in nature, hast thou made use of here, in that of the vine, to mark the lowliness and meekness of thy person; and in the same moment, thy fruitfulness, and love, and usefulness to thy people! It was truly prophesied of thee, my Lord, that thou shouldest be "as a root out of a dry ground." And what so apparently dry and unpromising, before the budding season, as the vine? It was said that thou wouldest have "no form nor comeliness, nor any beauty, that we should desire thee." And here when thou callest thyself "the true vine," surely, Lord, thou couldest have chosen no image more unsightly. It was said, that thou shouldest be "lowly and meek, when coming with salvation." And what so low as the vine, that sends forth her branches upon the ground? What so weak and feeble as the vine, that needs always some prop or stay to cast her feeble arms upon? Thy extent, O Lord, in the spreading of thy gospel, was prophesied to be "from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth." And truly, Lord, in the wide-spreading branches of the vine, thou art the fruitful bough of Joseph, "even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall." And when we see the multitude of thy people all hanging on thee, all united to thee, and all drawing sap, and moisture, and life, and strength, and fruitfulness from thee; what can more beautifully represent Jesus and his people than the rich vine and her branches, on which grow the fullest clusters of the pure blood of the grape? Precious Lord Jesus, thou art indeed "the true vine," and "the plant of renown," which, for wholesomeness, verdure, nourishment, and delight, surpasseth the whole creation of God. Lord, let me sit under thy shadow, let me taste of thy fruit, "for they that dwell under thy shadow shall return, they shall revive as the corn, and grow as the vine, the scent thereof shall be as the wine of Lebanon!"