I am the vine, you are the branches: He that stays in me, and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit…
The discoveries of vegetable physiology have shown that every branch is, in fact, a tree perfectly distinct and complete in itself: a tree which, by means of roots struck into the parent tree, derives its life, and sends out its leafage. The common idea is, that every tree in the ground has in itself the same kind of individual existence that a man has, and that, just as in the body limbs and various organs are component parts of a man, so the bole, the boughs, and the leaves are component parts of a tree. But the common idea is wrong; a tree is, in truth, a colony of trees, one growing on another — an aggregate of individuals — a body corporate, losing nothing, however, and merging nothing of its own individuality. It is charming to study a scientifically written biography of a tree, giving an account of its cells and pores and hairs, telling the isle of its evolution and its education; its infinite relations with all the elements, and how it is affected by the chemistries of nature; tracing it from its first faint filament to its full wealth of foliage and its final sweep of extension; thereby revealing through this miracle of the forest the glory of God. But, for the reasons suggested by some of the thoughts just confessed, interesting as is the story of a tree, a Christian will find the life tory of a mere branch scarcely less interesting, for it teaches him how to connect the ideas of total dependence and perfect individuality. I am a branch, yet I am a true tree — a tree growing on another tree — even on the Tree of Life. I see it all now, and also see the harmony between this particular Scripture and other Scriptures, better than formerly. It is scientifically true that I am a branch in the Vine, yet that I am a tree, answering to the description, "Rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving."
(C. Stanford, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.