God’s gracious outreach towards wayward humanity finds concrete expression in Jesus of Nazareth. God became man and united humanity with divinity; an awesome truth that leaves us in wonder. When believers unite with Jesus Christ, they share the very identity, destiny, life, and status of Christ. In order to illustrate this spiritual truth, Jesus used the example of the grapevine. Jesus said, “I am the true Vine, and my Father is the gardener. Remain in me, and I will remain in you” (John 15:1,4). The branches of a vine share the life of the vine. Similarly, believers derive their identity from the Vine of which they are branches, and the Vine as a whole is Jesus Christ.
The issue of identity is of vital importance in a world that excludes people and segregates them, causing them injury. The believer’s identity is not primarily cultural but spiritual since their very being is in union with Christ Jesus. It is our identity which gives us dignity and not our possessions or position on the social scale made by the world. We need to affirm and live by the identity God gives us. No human being has the authority to consider another human being as low or demean them, considering them impure, for all are created in the image and likeness of God. We are an inclusive human race. However, if you do not affirm your identity, others will begin to define you. Remember, nobody can sit on your back unless you bend. Knowing who we are in Jesus Christ fills us with joy and love towards all of God’s creation.
The example of a grapevine is an organic metaphor that speaks of a productive life with responsibilities to abide, love, and let others also know of God’s gracious offer to abide in Jesus Christ. We become children of God by God’s grace, and as we continue to abide in Christ Jesus, our life becomes a blessing for others. Are we abiding in Christ Jesus?