Drawing on the biological science of the natural vine and applying it to our relationship to Christ as branches of the True Vine, Andrew Murray goes through the parable verse by verse and often phrase by phrase and looks at them from various angles and perspectives. Below are a few of my favorite excerpts:
“Consider a moment what this pruning or cleansing is. It is not the removal of weeds or thorns or anything from outside that may hinder the growth. No; it is the cutting off of the long shoots of the previous year, the removal of something that comes from within, that has been produced by the life of the vine itself. It is the removal of something that is proof of the vigor of its life. … The branches, sometimes eight and ten feet long, are cut down close to the stem, and nothing is left but just one or two inches of wood, enough to bear the grapes. … All that is to be left of us is just enough to receive the power of the life-giving sap of the Holy Spirit.” ~Excerpts from Chapter 6, “The Cleansing”
“This is the highest measure of love: When a man gives his life he holds nothing back; he gives all he has and is. It is this that our Lord Jesus wants to make clear to us concerning His mystery of the Vine; with all He has He has placed Himself at our disposal. He wants us to count Him our very own; He wants to be wholly our possession, that we may be wholly His possession. He gave His life for us in death not merely as a passing act that when accomplished was done with; no, but to make Himself ours for eternity. Life for life; He gave His life for us to possess that we might give our life for Him to possess.”
~Excerpt from Chapter 26, “Christ’s Friendship: Its Origin"