I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abides in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit; for without me you can do nothing.
We all know that the life of a plant flows through the vine out to the branches where the fruit is produced. Jesus had a great way of taking a plain old ordinary and simple example and using it to teach us a spiritual truth. Here, Jesus is using an object lesson to which we can all relate to teach us a very fundamental yet important truth.
In this example, Jesus is showing us the importance of staying connected to Him. Just as in a vineyard, the grape is produced on the branches that have drawn their life and ability from the vine, so too, He is saying that we cannot produce fruit any other way except to draw all that we need from Him. In actuality, it is He who is really producing the fruit, we are just a channel for His life giving power and ability to flow.
This is such a liberating truth to all those who have tried and failed over and over to live the Christian life. No matter how sincere you have been. No matter how you have desired to live a victorious and fruitful Christian life, you have never really lived up to what you know is really the Christian life. As a result, you may have gotten tired, discouraged and finally even given up and decided that you just can’t do it.
Congratulations, you have made it past the first hurdle in living the victorious and fruit-filled Christian life. If you had read the whole verse, you would have seen the futility of trying to live that kind of life in your own ability. You see, the whole point of the teaching is to set us free from self effort. Jesus said that only He can live that kind of life and produce the fruit in your life that you so desperately want. He said that without Him doing it, you can do NOTHING. Just agree with Him and stay connected to Him to receive the His vine life to produce fruit.