"And my Father is the husbandman." (John 15:1)
A vine must have a husbandman to plant and watch over it, to receive and rejoice in its fruit. Jesus says, "My Father is the husbandman." Christ was the Vine of God's planting. All He was and did, He owed to the Father. In all, He only sought the Father's will and glory. He had become man to show us what relationship we ought to have with our Creator. He took our place, and the spirit of His life before the Father is what He continually seeks to make ours, "Of him, and through me, and to him, are all things" (Romans 11:36). He became the true Vine, that we might be true branches. In regard to both Christ and ourselves, the words teach us the two lessons of absolute dependence and perfect confidence.
My Father is the Husbandman. Christ always lived in the spirit of what He once said, "The Son can do nothing of himself." (John 5:19). As dependent as a vine is on a husbandman for its planting, fertilization, and care. Christ was entirely dependent on the Father for the wisdom and the strength to do the Father's will every day.
As He said in the previous chapter (John 14:10), "The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works." This absolute dependence had as its blessed counterpart the most blessed confidence that He had nothing to fear. The Father could not disappoint Him. With such a husbandman as His Father, He could enter death and the grave. He could trust God to raise Him up. All that Christ is and has, He has, not in Himself, but from the Father.
My Father is the Husbandman. That is as blessedly true of us as for Christ. Christ is about to teach His disciples about their being branches. Before He ever used the word, or speaks at all of abiding in Him or bearing fruit, He turns their eyes heavenward to the Father watching over them - working all in them. At the very root of all Christian life lies the thought that God is to do all. Our one work is to give and leave ourselves in His hands, in the confession of utter helplessness and dependence, is the assured confidence that He gives all we need. The great downfall of the Christian life is that, even where we trust Christ, we leave the Father out. Christ came to bring us to God, the Father. Christ lived the life of a man exactly as we have to life it. Christ the Vine points to God the Husbandman. As He trusted the Father, let us trust the Father, In that way, everything we ought to be and have, as those who belong to the Vine, will be given to us from above.
Isaiah said, "A vineyard of red wine; I the Lord do keep it; I will water it every moment: lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day" (Isaiah 27:2-3). Before we begin to think of fruit or branches, let us have our heart filled with the faith: the Husbandman is as glorious as the Vine. As high and holy as is our calling, so mighty and loving is the God who will work it all. As surely as the Husbandman made the Vine what it was to be, will He make each branch what it is to be. Our Father is our Husbandman, the surety for our growth and fruit.
Blessed Father, we are Your husbandry. Oh, that You might have honor of the work of Your hands! O my Father, I desire to open my heart to the joy of this wondrous truth. My Father is the Husbandman. Teach me to know and trust You, and to see that the same deep interest with which You cared for and delighted in the Vine, extends to every branch - to me, too. Amen