BY: ANDREW MURRAY
TRUE DISCIPLES BEAR MUCH FRUIT!
“Herein is My Father glorified, that you bear MUCH FRUIT: so shall you be my disciples.” John 15:8
So then, are those who do NOT bear much fruit still disciples? It may be that they are just in an immature stage. Of those who bear MUCH FRUIT, Christ says, “These are My disciples, such as I would have them be – these are TRUE disciples.” Just as we say of someone in whom the idea of manliness is realized, “That is a man!” so our Lord tells who are disciples after His heart and worthy of the man – that is, those who bear much fruit. The Gospel does seem to contain this double sense of the word disciple. Sometimes it is applied to all who accepted Christ’s teaching. At other times it refers only to that inner circle of those who followed Christ wholly and gave themselves to His training for service. This difference has existed throughout all the ages. There have always been a smaller number of God’s people who have sought to serve Him with their whole heart – the majority have usually been content with a smaller measure of the knowledge of His grace and will.
What is the difference between this smaller inner circle and the many who do not seek entrance to it? We find it in the words, “much fruit.” With many Christians, the concerns for their own lives seem to remain the primary aim of their religion. The idea of service and fruit is always secondary and very subordinate. There is no real honest longing for “much fruit.” Souls that have heard the call to live completely for their Lord – to give their lives for Him as He gave His for them, can never be satisfied with this. Their desire is to bear as much fruit as they can – as much as their Lord desires and the Holy Spirit wants to produce in them.
“Bear much fruit: so shall ye be My disciples.” Allow me to ask the reader to consider these words very carefully. Don’t be content with the thought of doing a little more or better work. It may never come that way. Take the words “much fruit” as the revelation of what you can really be – who you really are! Accept fully that it is impossible for you to attempt to be “much fruit” in your own strength-in your own efforts. Let those words cause you to look afresh at the Vine – see it as allowing the heavenly fullness to live THROUGH you. Let those words awaken in you once again the faith and confession: “I AM a branch of the true Vine; I can bear much fruit to His glory, and that of the Father.”
We don’t need to judge one another. Nevertheless, there are two classes of disciples. Don’t hesitate to find your place. Let us ask Him to reveal to us how He asks and claims a life fully given up to Him – to be as full of His Spirit as HE can make us. Let our desire be nothing less than perfect cleansing, unbroken abiding, closest communion, abundant fruitfulness – true branches of the true Vine.
Christ is grieving on account of the lack of wholehearted Christians bearing much fruit. Though you may not understand what it all means or how it will come about, tell Him that you ARE His branch that WILL bear MUCH FRUIT, ready to be His disciple in the fullest sense of the word.
“My disciples.” Blessed Lord Jesus, MUCH FRUIT is the proof that You, the true Vine has in me a true branch-a disciple fully at Your disposal. Give me, I pray, the childlike consciousness that my fruit IS pleasing to You – what you count as – MUCH FRUIT.
TRUE DISCIPLES [Andrew Murray] 1