Jesus said, “By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:8
In the analogy of the “True Vine” (John 15:1-8) we are given the purpose in the above verse. It is that the Father may be glorified in fruit bearing. We are told that the vine represents Jesus, we are represented by the branches and that the Father is represented as the vinedresser; the One for whom the fruit is borne. It is not borne for the benefit of the branches.
The purpose of the vine is to bear fruit for the benefit of the vinedresser. The purpose of the Church, of which Christ is the head, is to bear fruit for the benefit and use of the Father.
The connection between the branches and the vine is called “abiding” and for the branch that means absolute dependence on the vine. In similar way we are totally dependent upon Jesus Christ for life and fruit bearing. He said, “for without Me you can do nothing” (v 5) Quite clearly we cannot be independent of Jesus Christ and bear fruit for the glory and benefit of the Father. We can only bear “fruit” through abiding in Christ. Abiding in Christ means drawing life nourishment from Him continually.
It is the will of the Father and of Jesus that the branches bear much fruit (vv 5, 8) so it is important for us to reflect on just what this fruit is. Keeping the purpose of the analogy is important to a correct outcome in our considerations; it is that the Father will be glorified – the glory of His Person revealed in the world.
All plants bear much more fruit, of which the seed is part, than is required for reproduction. The extra fruit and seed are for the benefit of others, not the plant itself. The vinedresser is the one who determines where and to whom the fruit is to be distributed, not the vine.
Keep in mind that it is the whole vine, not just the branches, which produce the fruit. A branch not drawing nourishment from the vine cannot produce any fruit and neither can a Christian not drawing nourishment from Jesus Christ. Some of the seed, which is at least part of the fruit, is used to reproduce but the much greater part is used to nourish others at the will of the owner. The Father is glorified when we produce fruit for the nourishment of others and reproduce Christ in them.