Jesus said something really silly.
He said, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).
What’s silly about that? The silly part is not that Jesus calls Himself a vine. Jesus isn’t pretending to be a vine. He is making a comparison.
We talk like that. People say things like, “I am a rock.” They are not really rocks. That just means people can depend on them. Maybe your parents have called you a “bear” when you first wake up. They call you that not because you are all fuzzy wuzzy but because you’re grumpy.
No, the silly part is what Jesus says after He calls Himself a vine. He says, “apart from Me you can do nothing.”
What does Jesus mean? We can do all kinds of thing without Him. We can do our homework. We can play a game or watch TV. We can clean our room. That’s silly.
Jesus explains what He means. He says that only in Him can we “bear fruit.” That means for us to do things in a way that pleases Jesus and that makes a difference for Him, we need Jesus’ help.
So, to do our homework or clean our room so that we honor Jesus, we need His help. To play a game nicely or to not watch what we shouldn’t on TV, we need to do it with Jesus.
How do we do that?
The only way we can do things through Jesus is by prayer. That’s why Jesus says a little later when He talks more about our bearing fruit, “the Father will give you whatever you ask in My name” (John 15:16).
Jesus isn’t talking about asking for games or toys. He telling us that if we want Jesus’ help to honor Him in our lives, we have to ask Him. We have to pray.
The only way we can “bear fruit,” the only way to grow in Jesus and honor Him is to pray. We need to try to pray about everything.
So when you need to be nice to your brother or sister or a friend, you have to ask Jesus to help you. When you sit down to do your homework or to study for a test, ask Jesus to help you—even if you don’t think you need His help because you know it all. You want to honor Him. If your parents tell you to do something you don’t want to do, think of Jesus and ask Him to help you to do it—and help you to want to do it.
Prayer is the way Jesus gives us to live a life that honors Him and depends on Him. There is nothing silly about that!