Vine … Branches: A Lesson From Tree Anatomy

John 15:5, I am the vine, you are the branches. Yeshua likened his followers to tree branches that when attached to him will produce much fruit. Let’s examine tree biology to see what we can learn spiritually from how trees operate.

Trees are phototropic. Tropism is the orientation of the direction of the tree’s growth in response to external stimulus. The leaves of a tree are phototropic. They orient themselves to catch the maximum energy from the sun’s light.

  • Spiritual parallel: Yeshua is the Sun of Righteousness (Mal 4:2) whose face shines like the sun (Rev 1:16), and the righteous man orients himself to catch the light and energy from Yeshua.

Trees are geotropic. They grow away from the earth and toward heaven.

  • Spiritual parallel: The spirit of righteous man must reach toward Elohim in heaven, though he came from the earth and the feet of his flesh are planted firmly in this world. His soul is in the middle with both heaven and earth battling for control over it.

Trees are hydrotropic. The roots of a tree sense water and grow in that direction.

  • Spiritual parallel: The righteous man is planted by the river of life (the Torah-Word of Elohim) and draws up water from the wells of salvation (Yeshua).

Trees suck up nutrients. Trees pull up water and nutrients from the soil through the roots and into the rest of the tree in several ways: through osmotic pressure, through cell attraction, and through evaporation of water from the leaves into the atmosphere (called transpiration).

  • Spiritual parallel: The evaporation of water from the leaves of trees not only helps to keep the tree cool in the heat of the sun, but helps to cool the surrounding area. The tree doesn’t have to work, fight or struggle to make this process happen. It just happens. We must be like a tree planted by the waters of YHVH’s Word (Ps 1:3) whose roots suck up the life-giving sustenance of that Word. As a result, we will bear much fruit because we’re feeding on the Word of Elohim, and our leaf will not wither in the heat and rigors of life’s trials, for the Word of Elohim will cool us and those around us.

Trees produce fruit. As nutrients are pulled upward through the xylem and water through the phloem, the sunlight captured in leaf cells containing chloroplasts (containing green pigment that reflect the sun’s light and captures the blue and red parts of sunlight that drive the process of photosynthesis) through a complex chemical reaction called photosynthesis uses the sun’s energy to convert the mineral in the water into simple sugars called glucose along with starch and cellulose. During these chemical reactions, water molecules are split apart into hydrogen and oxygen atoms. The hydrogen atoms combine with carbon dioxide molecules to make glucose, and oxygen is released as a by-product. The food that is produced from this process is used to grow the tree and to produce stems, roots, leaves, flowers and fruit. The process by which chemical energy is generated by photosynthesis and is stored as sugar and starch and is used by the tree is called respiration. 

  • Spiritual parallel: The Spirit is like the sap in the tree that flows throughout the tree energizing it resulting in fruit production. All this occurs as the tree sucks up water, captures sunlight and produces plant food. The Comforter/Helper aids us in metabolising/assimilating the Word and the Life of Torah/Yeshua into our entire being resulting in the fruits of the Spirit.

What is the bottom line?
Trees don’t struggle to produce food and fruit. They abide, and through naturally occurring processes that just occur, they grow and produce fruit. If Yeshua abides in us and we abide in him, through the work of the Set-Apart Spirit in us, we should be naturally producing the fruits of the Spirit so that everything we do, say and think should imitate him. We should be outgrowths and extensions of his life and a reflection of him in every way.


1 thought on “Vine … Branches: A Lesson From Tree Anatomy

  1. Another aspect of trees being geotropic is that while the shoots, shoot for the sun, and its reflection off the moon, the roots drive down the foundation as they root down to the core (foundations) of survival, during the storms, the winds of adversity, the droughts, fires and heavy pruning.
    Roman 11:16, Mt 3:16, Luk 8:13.

    Top growth and fruit are intimately related to the depth and width of the root system. Life is in as much the root as it in the leaf.

    Bad roots – the Love of money is the root (1 Tim 6:10), the root of bitterness that which defiles many (Heb 12:15) one little root can produce generations of “bitterness”. These are truly bad fruits, not just immature, tart or bitter fruit.

    Good Roots – lots of references.

    Fruit just happens, but great wonderful fruit takes effort and input of a husbandman. This was part of the initial calling of Adam – this was the “dirty jobs” part that had “Adam -soil/earth ” hand to get his hands dirty (English word play on Hebrew word play) – The original definition of an Abad – tiller and vine (branch) dresser . This is the work of our Father, only we are the “trees” John 15:1.

    Bad Roots, bad branches and boastful branches – burned and their ashes may become fertilizer from the fire of purification and may be used to feed the tree, that now may be used to bring forth good fruit.

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