Manchester Community Church
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Where people count and Christ is honored.

Sermon August 26, 2012

Sermon Preached at MCC Aug. 26, 2012 Rev. Dr. Jack L. Daniel

Title: “Source and Resource”

Text: John 15:1-17

Introduction: The familiar words of Jesus in John 15 remind us that staying vitally connected to Christ is essential for our spiritual health and growth. This is a parable about Sources and Resources.

1. SOURCES AND RESOURCES: We often ask both source and resource questions. For example
resource questions might be “how much does that person make?” or “how much does
that house or car cost?”. Source questions on the other hand have to do with origins, for
example “where are you from?”, “how did you meet your spouse?”, “how did you become a
Christian?”.

We sometimes confuse these two. For example many people think of God as a resource for
their lives. He is one resource among many that enable them to live. Along with health, income,
family and friends they think of God as a resource. But in this parable, Jesus is very clear that He
is not a RESOURCE but rather He is our only true SOURCE.

THE PARABLE EXPLAINED IN THREE ROLES:

a. The Vine. Jesus is the Vine. In other words, he is the source of our life. Apart from him we
can do nothing v.5. Many people think of Jesus like the glove compartment of their car. A
glove compartment is a small usually unnoticed part of a car. We don’ think about the glove
compartment, but it does contain some important items such as the car’s registration, road
maps, AAA information, and an owner’s manual. All of these items are important, and we
are glad they are there in case of an emergency, but we just don’t think about them much.
That is how many people relate to God. They are glad he is there in an emergency but they
just don’t think about him. He is for them a resource when they choose. But God doesn’t
want to be the glove compartment, he doesn’t want to be the engine, he wants to be the
driver. So he says to us, either “slide over” or “pull over”. He says, “I am either “Lord of all or
not Lord at all”.
b. The Branches. Every Christian is a branch. It is our task to stay vitally connected to Christ.
In this parable Jesus plainly warns us that if we don’t stay vitally connected that we will
sooner or later die spiritually. He is not saying that we will become disconnected, but only
that should we there is no other source to give us eternal life. It is like the warning that we
get on every airplane flight. The flight attendant advises us that in case of a loss of cabin
pressure oxygen masks will deploy from the ceiling. We are to immediately put them on and
start breathing. The flight attendant isn’t saying this is likely to happen, in fact it is extremely

rare, but should it happen there is no backup plan to the oxygen masks. You cannot open a
window to get fresh air. So pay attention. That is what Jesus is saying, there is no other vine,
no other source for our life, so stay vitally connected to him.
c. The Gardener. Jesus says that God the Father is the gardener. It is his job to prune the
branches so they get stronger. Just like in actual gardening pruning appears to be a violent
and painful act for a plant since it involves removing living plant tissue. So too God’s pruning
of our lives can be a painful experience. Pruning can be any difficult or painful experience
we go through in life that results in our faith getting stronger. At the time pruning feels
painful or difficult, but in hind sight when it is past, we look back and realize that it had a
strengthening effect on us.

Conclusion: Jesus says 11 times in this brief parable that our job as “branches” is to remain vitally
connected to Him. The way we stay vitally connected is through prayer, and through reading God’s
word, and through worship, and fellowship with other Christians. Each of us needs a time and place
everyday where we quiet ourselves and listen to God. I call this “chair time” because for many people
it is a time when they find a comfortable chair and sit and pray or read or listen. But it need not be an
actual chair, perhaps it is the time when you go for a walk, or drive to work when you listen to Christian
music. “Chair time” can be any time and place where you meet God, and open your life to him. That is
how we stay vitally connected as branches to the vine.