Let God Prune Us So We Can Produce More Fruit
Isaiah looks forward to the day when the Branch of the Lord will appear. Branch, with a capital B, is a euphemism for Jesus, who will come to rescue God’s people.
Isaiah says this Branch will emerge as awesome and full of wonder, which is an understatement considering all that Jesus did, is doing, and will do. Jesus will produce fruit for the people. They will take pride in what the Branch produces and glory in it.
Jesus, the Branch of the Lord, will come for us, spiritually feeding us with his fruit: beautiful, wondrous fruit, the source of pride and glory.
Just as Jesus is the Branch, we are his branches, that’s branches with a lowercase b. We are branches connected to the Branch (which John calls the “true vine”).
But being a branch connected to the Branch isn’t enough. Having a mere connection with Jesus is insufficient. When we’re connected with the Branch of Jesus, we must bear fruit. And we must produce good fruit. That’s what Father God, our Papa, expects from us.
If we produce no fruit, God, our gardener, will cut off our branch. Yikes! He’ll lop us off. We’re not worthy of remaining connected to Jesus if we produce no fruit—if we do nothing for him. That’s a sobering truth.
Having a connection with Jesus isn’t enough if it produces nothing. We can’t pledge our allegiance to him and then coast through life unchanged. He expects us to produce fruit because of our connection to him.
To further the analogy, every branch that produces fruit will eventually face pruning. This isn’t punishment. Instead, it’s a beneficial process that will allow us to produce even more fruit.
While an untrimmed tree will yield some fruit, a tree pruned properly will produce much more. God, our gardener, will prune us so that we can make even more fruit for him.
But to do this we must remain with God, connected to Jesus—the Branch of the Lord—and bearing fruit. Else we risk him cutting off our branch, throwing us into the fire, and having the flames consume us.
[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Isaiah 1-4 and today’s post is on Isaiah 4:2.]
Read more about the book of Isaiah in For Unto Us: 40 Prophetic Insights About Jesus, Justice, and Gentiles from the Prophet Isaiah available in e-book, paperback, and hardcover.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.
Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.
3 replies on “The Branch of the Lord”
Wow! You hit this one out of the park, Peter DeHaan! You see, the word for Branch in Hebrew is Nazer as in Nazareth. And there is so much more I would love to tell your readers. But they need to know the stories of the Hebrew Testament as well as some myths, cultural stories, told by the ancient Greeks and Romans. Jesus grew up within this cultural mix and the Gospel and Letters of Paul reflect this cultural mix. People in Jesus’ day knew that Zeus was the Father of the Gods because he was Thunder itself. The Romans knew that this was their father too…and they called him Jupiter…or Jove. The Greeks were very proud of the great conqueror Alexander who they saw as the incarnation of Apollo the son of Zeus. The early Christians also knew that the name Boanerges was an identifier meaning the sons of Thunder (Mark 3:17). They also knew that the Amgydala was the Greek word for Almond and that Moses was considered THE TEACHER OF ISRAEL and that he was called the RABBONI. The Hebrew people were proud of the fact that it was THE TEACHER OF ISRAEL who heard God speaking to him when he encountered the BURNING BUSH who bid him take off his sandals. They too would know the meaning behind the euphemism of taking off one’s sandals. It was Moses the TEACHER OF ISRAEL who upon divine inspiration after this encounter with the Burning Bush forged the copper (using the fire of coal the BLACK ROCK) to make the Lamp Stand for the Tabernacle. This Lamp Stand was forged to resemble THE ALMOND BRANCH, the Amygdala, the BURNING BUSH to give EVERLASTING LIGHT to the Priests who in turn burned offerings to cleanse the people of their sins. However with the coming of Jesus and the GOSPEL, the TEACHER OF ISRAEL lifts up the FATHER and this EVERLASTING LIGHT and tells the disciples “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.(Matthew 5:14). BUT ….the disciples need to know who the BRANCH IS and how important it is to stay connected to this BRANCH. Thank you again Peter DeHaan for encouraging your readers to have a meaningful connection with Jesus and each other so that they can go into the world to produce the FRUIT God desires and give glory to God the Father.