When I read the Gospel where Jesus says, “a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine,” I think of my Mom and her tomatoes. She always says that tomatoes straight off the vine taste better than those bought in the store. Please bear with me as I look to draw parallels between Jesus’ admonition to stay connected to Him and my Mom’s praise of garden-fresh tomatoes.
Let me begin with my Google research as to why tomatoes from the garden are better than store-bought. It has to do with looks, shelf-life, timing, and nutrients. It turns out store tomatoes come from hybrids that look good, so people will buy them. And, they are designed to look that way for as long as possible. I also learned that tomatoes in the store are harvested before they are ripe and therefore their ripening comes without being kissed by the sun. And because they are picked from the vine too soon, they are not able to take in all the nutrients they need.
So, even though store-bought tomatoes might look good, and have a longer shelf-life, it seems that the timing of their harvesting causes them to lack the nutrients needed for tastiness.
Jesus wants better for us. He wants us to be all that we were meant to be. That is why he tells us to remain in him. So, let me suggest how looks, shelf-life, timing, and nutrients are reasons why we should stay connected to Jesus, the True Vine.
Looks: The closer we stay connected to Jesus the more we will resemble him.
Shelf- Life: Staying connected to Jesus will lead to Everlasting Life.
Timing: There is never a good time to leave the Vine. We always need Jesus.
Nutrients: Jesus is the Bread of Life, all the nutrients we need.
So, there you have it. Four good reasons to stay connected to Jesus…straight from my Mom’s tomatoes.
“Remain in me, as I remain in you. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me.” (John 15:4)