“You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you” John 15:3
The disciples were part of Christ’s posse. Since the day they dropped everything in their lives to “follow Him”, they were privy to Christ performing amazing miracles, and they also heard him teach the ways of the Gospel both in intimate settings and before thousands who traveled many miles to see and hear Him.
This particular evening, while in the vineyard, the disciples watch their Rabbi tenderly touch grapevines bending beneath the weight of fully-ripened grapes. They listen to him talk about how God is the Vinedresser, that he (Christ) is the True Vine, and that we are offshoots of the True Vine that can only produce fruit when we are connected with Him. “You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you”, Christ said as he walked through rows of grapes.
Direct Contact with the Word
Throughout the Bible, there are many accounts of the cleansing power of the Word of God. The woman at the well sat and spoke with Christ, who revealed Himself to her, and shared that, “whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14). She left that encounter with a clean spirit, forever cleansed of past deeds, and ready to share the Good News with everyone who would listen.
Then there was the man at the pool of Bethesda who had had been waiting there to be healed for nearly four decades. Christ spoke directly to him asking, “Do you want to be made well?” The man gave Christ excuses as to why he never had the opportunity to be healed, to which Jesus ignored and said, “Rise, take up your bed and walk", (John 5:6). Immediately the man was healed of his illness, and his complacency.
The woman who had bled for 12 years pressed her way to see Jesus in Gergesenes, on the eastern side of the Sea of Galilee. She knew she would be healed if she could “touched the hem of Christ’s garment” (Matthew 9:21). Once she did so, the bleeding stopped immediately. When Jesus saw her, he said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well” (Matthew 9:22). From that moment on, she was cleansed of her infirmity.
These encounters were unique because Christ, the Living Word, spoke not only to the woman at the well, the man by the pool of Bethesda, the woman with the issue of blood, and many more, He also spoke directly to their issue, thereby healing and cleansing them of what was ailing each of them.
The True Connection
That night in the vineyard, Christ shared with the disciples that they were “already clean because of the word [He] had spoken” (John 15:3). Not many of the 11 truly understood what Jesus meant. Walking with Him day-by-day made them take the depth of His presence for granted. They failed to realize the, “Word became flesh and made his dwelling among [them]”, and they could not see “his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). BUT their CONNECTION with the True Vine is what made them clean. The relationship Christ established with His disciples, and the revelation that came about when the Holy Spirit opened their eyes to truly see who Christ really was, is what acted as a cleansing balm for their spirits.
And so it is for us. God is the Vinedresser. Christ is the True Vine. We are the offshoots of the Vine that must be connected in order to bear fruit, be healed, set free, delivered, and made whole. Our connection with Christ, the Living Word, and our belief that He is the Son of God, is what makes us clean.
Over the next 11 weeks, I will be sharing what Christ meant when he called for his disciples to “abide in me” that night in the vineyard, and how that same word applies to our lives through my summer blog series “Abide in Me”. We will study one verse every Wednesday between November 1st and December 27th, in order to understand what abiding in God means, and how it leads to a life of abundance.
Don’t fall behind! Catch up on Week 1 and Week 2 in the "Abide in Me" series. Let me know you're following the "Abide in Me" series using these hashtags:#AbideInMe #FallInTheWord #CherishedflighttheBlog