John 15:6 “If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.”
How does this happen? How does a branch wither and die? There are three possible viewpoints on this passage.
- A person who once believed purposely and willfully rejects Jesus and separates the connection with Christ.
- This is refuted by Rom. 8:38 “nothing can ever separate us from God’s love”.
- A person that looked like a believer but was really a hypocrite and never was truly connected to Christ.
- This is true in nature as well. A fruit tree branch can be grafted onto another fruit tree of the same species but the rootstock will reject the branch of a tree outside its species.
- A believer that does not bear fruit and lives a wasted life.
- This could be like a branch that, though it is still attached to a living tree, the branch itself is dead.
The second viewpoint seems the most likely when compared to the others. Matthew Henry describes it this way, “It is just that those should have no benefit by Christ who think they have no need of him; and that those who reject him should be rejected by him.”
Whatever the answer is, it is clear that when the connection to Christ is severed, we dry up, wither away, are unable to bear fruit, and are good for nothing. A sober reminder to stay close to the source of all life. So close that you are connected, you in Him and Him in you. Abiding in Jesus as he abides in you!