Wondrous Parable of the Vine,—unveiling the mysteries of the Divine love, of the heavenly life, of the world of Spirit,—how little have I understood thee! Jesus the living Vine in heaven, and I the living branch on earth! How little have I understood how great my need, but also how perfect my claim, to all His fulness! How little understood how great His need, but also how perfect His claim, to my emptiness! Let me, in its beautiful light, study the wondrous union between Jesus and His people, until it becomes to me the guide into full communion with my beloved Lord. Let me listen and believe, until my whole being cries out, ‘Jesus is indeed to me the True Vine, bearing me, nourishing me, supplying me, using me, and filling me to the full to make me bring forth fruit abundantly.’ Then shall I not fear to say, ‘I am indeed a branch to Jesus, the True Vine, abiding in Him, resting on Him, waiting for Him, serving Him, and living only that through me, too, He may show forth the riches of His grace, and give His fruit to a perishing world.
It is not enough to read God’s Word, or meditations as here offered, and when we think we have hold of the thoughts, and have asked God for His blessing, to go out in the hope that the blessing will abide. No, it needs day by day time with Jesus and with God. We all know the need of time for our meals each day,—every workman claims his hour for dinner; the hurried eating of so much food is not enough. If we are to live through Jesus, we must feed on Him (John 6:57); we must thoroughly take in and assimilate that heavenly food the Father has given us in His life. Therefore, my brother, who would learn to abide in Jesus, take time each day, ere you read, and while you read, and after you read, to put yourself into living contact with the living Jesus, to yield yourself distinctly and consciously to His blessed influence; so will you give Him the opportunity of taking hold of you, of drawing you up and keeping you safe in His almighty life.
Adam in his best condition was merely flesh and blood, an earthly man, as he is termed in distinction from Christ (1 Cor. 15:47). And as that earthly man was, such we should have been, since we are of him who was of earthly generation, and neither he nor we would have advanced higher (v. 48). But our Lord Christ is the Lord from heaven, a heavenly man (vv. 47–48). Therefore, as we are blessed in and together with Him, we are blessed in heavenly things or with heavenly blessings, and raised up to heavenly places with Him. Because Christ is the heavenly man, such is the condition of those in Him; we are heavenly as He Himself is. Heaven is His native country and He is the Lord of it. Since we are married to Him and He is our Lord in that respect, and since, as was said, the spouse must be where the husband is and partake of the same good things of which he partakes, therefore Christ takes us and carries us to His own home, to His Father’s house, which is heaven. We thereby come to be blessed in Christ with all heavenly blessings, not spiritual blessings only, with which Adam in his primitive condition was blessed.