“Remain in Me,” Jesus told the eleven disciples at their last Passover together, “and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in Me.
“Yes, I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from Me, you can do nothing.” John 15:4,5 NLTAs Jesus had said to Nicodemus a few short years earlier, it is His Spirit alone that gives life; none of our efforts, without Him, have any profit in the Kingdom of God. Here, He makes it even plainer; “Without Me, you can do nothing!” All our efforts, all our strivings, even our attempts to straighten out our lives or be pleasing to God, if they are done without reference to Jesus, are doomed to failure.
The Pharisees of Jesus’ day were a sad example of this. They believed that all their religious deeds would win them favor with God; and when Jesus came to show the Jews their desperate need of a Saviour, most of them refused to admit they needed Him, and even hated Him for showing up their deficiencies.
But those who remain in Jesus, who abide in Him, who live their lives in Him, they are the ones who find that He lives His own life through them. And the fruit of His Divine Life is abundant and wonderful. From them, as Jesus said, rivers of Living Waters flow outwards, refreshing many more. They bear much fruit in His Kingdom, to the great joy of God the Father, the Master Gardener.