John 15:1-17 Tells of the parable of the vine and the branches. It is said that Christ is the vine and God is the gardener who cares for the branches. We are said to be the branches.
As any good gardener would do, he would evaluate what branches are taking away from other branches by stealing water and other minerals that are essential to their growth. Sucker branches are quick growing and draw away nutrients and water so that they may grow at a quick pace yet they do not bear fruit. They just drain what is essential for the other fruiting branches to grow. So, diligently the gardener will prune away those unneeded branches. Fruitful branches are the believers in Christ’s community who by their living and union of Christ produce fruit. Those who become unproductive by turning their back from following Christ after making a superficial commitment will be separated from the vine.
Jesus makes a distinction between two types of pruning:1) complete removal and separation or 2) trimming back or shortening. Fruitful branches are cut back to promote growth. The fruit will be larger and more sustainable.
Sometimes, we need to look at our lives and ask God to help us see areas that need his pruning. Sometimes, we need just to be cut back so that discipline can help strengthen our character and other times, a branch may need to be completely removed. Some branches can be be so damaged that the rest of the vine can get infected and weakened. People who do not bear fruit or who try to block the efforts of God’s followers will be cut off totally of his live giving powers.
Either way, pruning is needed for our growth and development. Jesus says that the only good way to live a truly good life is to stay close to him, like branches attached to a vine and I desire to do that. Each day it is a commitment and an honor to do so.