John 15:5 I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing. [NRSV]
So far John 15 has been all about repetition. Over and over these verses have reminded us our purpose is to abide in the “true” vine. [Down through Jewish history the vine became the symbol of Israel. During the Macabees period of history, the symbol of the vine was on the coins of Israel. It was over the main doors of the synagogues. (Antiquities of the Jews by Jewish historian, Josephus (5.5.4)] The symbol of the vine had become more about the nation than God. Even the purchase of gold to add a branch or a single grape to those synagogue vines could be considered an act of worship.
It’s easy to be distracted from what “true” worship is and the fruit it’s meant to produce. Jesus says “Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” Jesus’ challenge is to accept this one truth: a relationship to Him is the reality of a connection to God Himself. He is the only “true” vine and the branches are carefully, and artfully cultivated and pruned to produce the “true” fruit of worship: “to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” [Westminster]