Psalm 80 reminds us that Israel was the “vine from Egypt,” that was to bless the nations of the world and proclaim the offer of salvation to all humanity. Unfortunately, Israel failed in their commission and through their rebellion became more like the nations around them than a beacon of hope and safety. The Psalmists writes, talking of the vine, “It is burned with fire, it is cut down.” Psalm 80:16 Their final rejection of God’s plan came when instead of falling on their knees in repentance, as is pictured in Psalm 80, they crucify the Messiah.
Israel might still take pride in the beautiful vines that trailed over the Temple court and put an engraving of the vine on their coins, but the power and glory of God was gone. They were left with symbols of what could have been if they had only trusted in God. But, God’s purpose for the nations was not abandoned just because Israel got it wrong. While talking to the disciples Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.” John 15:1 He went on to tell them again, “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.” (5) Then again, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you.” (7)
The Fathers commission to the world had passed on to the “true vine”, Jesus who would not fail. However, Jesus journey would soon lead Him to the cross and the disciples would need to carry on without His physical presence to encourage them. They would need to abide in Him spiritually and He in them. If they were going to go into all the world with the gospel they would need God’s grace to stand against persecution and suffering. But Jesus didn’t leave them without resources. He told them earlier that the Holy Spirit would guide their words and now He tells them that whatever strength and power they needed He would give it to them.
In our own lives, Jesus calls us to abide in Him. He asks us to trust and rely on Him. When we call out to God He is there and His love is unconditional and unfathomable. We cannot imagine how much we mean to Him. Your past and every sin you have ever committed cannot keep Him from you. YOU ARE LOVED. The Gospel of the Kingdom will be preached into all the world one heart at a time. When the Holy Spirit knocks on your heart, remember, it is God’s call to abide in Him and cast all your cares upon Him. He is the true vine and we are the branches.