“And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest?” Ezekiel 15:1-2
Suggested Further Reading: John 15:1-8
In looking upon all the various trees, we observe, that the vine is distinguished amongst them—so that, in the old parable of Jotham, the trees waited upon the vine tree, and said unto it, “Come thou and reign over us.” But merely looking at the vine, without regard to its fruitfulness, we should not see any kingship in it over other trees. In size, form, beauty, or utility, it has not the slightest advantage. We can do nothing with the wood of the vine. “Shall wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will men take a pin of it to hang a vessel thereon?”It is a useless plant apart from its fruitfulness. We sometimes see it in beauty, trained up by the side of our walls, and in the east it might be seen in all its luxuriance, and great care is bestowed in its training; but leave the vine to itself, and consider it apart from its fruitfulness, it is the most insignificant and despicable of all things that bear the name of trees. Now beloved, this is for the humbling of God’s people. They are called God’s vine; but what are they by nature more than others? Others are as good as they; yea, some others are even greater and better than they. They, by God’s goodness, have become fruitful, having been planted in a good soil; the Lord has trained them upon the walls of the sanctuary, and they bring forth fruit to his glory. But what are they without their God? What are they without the continual influence of the Spirit, begetting fruitfulness in them? Are they not the least among the sons of men, and the most to be despised of those that have been brought forth of women?
For meditation: It is only by the grace of God that we become different from others and useful to God (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Sermon no. 125
3 March (Preached 22 March 1857)