Jesus said, “I am the true vine… Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing.
[John 15:1, 5, NLT]
Yesterday, after a stressful visit to the doctor, my blood pressure was elevated. As I age, any trip to the doctor is stressful, especially when it means that I have to take more tests. I think doctors get a high off of taking our blood and running tests. Needless to say, my blood pressure never decreased like it normally does at the end of the visit.
Afterwards, to get my body back in alignment, I decided to stop at Whole Foods to get something healthy but tasty. As I was walking around, trying my best not to buy the whole store, this awesome aroma came across my nose. Immediately, I felt my whole body calm as my nostrils opened wider to inhale more of the scent. I turned to see an aromatherapy diffuser releasing puffs of steam into the air.
After investigation, I discovered that the essential oil they were using was frankincense. As I inhaled as much of the scent as I could, the effects felt magical. I couldn’t confirm it, but I knew that my blood pressure was decreasing. The effects were powerful enough to inspire me to purchase the oil and the diffuser. As I priced the frankincense, I paused. Of course, it was the most expensive oil on display. At $40 for ½ ounce, I was not going to purchase it. This was Whole Paycheck after all. They probably got the oil from some remote location across the ocean, the best of the best. I figured that I could just buy a knock-off brand somewhere else.
I smelled all of the oils again, hoping one of them would have the same effects. Of course, they didn’t. I picked up the directions for the diffuser and noticed that only one drop was needed per usage. That fact was food for thought for my Uber ride to class.
Just a little bit did the trick. Just a little bit was all I needed. Just a little because the quality was so high that just a little bit would do the trick. As I rode through DC, still calm from my encounter with the frankincense, now thinking of the gift of frankincense brought to baby Jesus, I realized the analogy. The frankincense was the real deal. Just like Jesus. Only Jesus is the real deal.
In John 15:1, Jesus said, “I am the true vine.” In other words, Jesus is the authentic way to the Father. In the rest of John 15, Jesus talks about our relationship to the true vine. In 15:5, he says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing” -John 15:5, NLT.
This morning, as I thought of those verses over and over again, I realized that yesterday was an illustration of their truth. My blood pressure is an indication of my heart health. The heart is only as healthy as the vessels and arteries leading to it. The network that pumps blood to my heart has to be of the best quality to do their best work, to produce their best fruit. Just like putting junk in my body creates problems for my body network, just like using subpar essential oils will not produce the best results, is the same as not be connected to the real deal Jesus. Without the essential connection to Jesus, the True Vine, our lives will not be the best they can be, and our fruit will be subpar.
Today, as you reflect, listen to your heartbeat. Stop for a few moments and just listen to it work. Just like the quality of the blood and the network pumping the blood creates a physical quality of health, your connection to the true vine creates a spiritual quality of health. So, I ask, are you connected to the real deal Jesus?