by Chris Lovegren
Zechariah 3:8 – Listen, High Priest Joshua, you and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.
Zechariah 6:12 – Tell him this is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Here is the man whose name is the Branch, and he will branch out from his place and build the temple of the Lord.
When I first saw this reference to Christ Himself as the branch I thought, “Wait, I thought that we were the branches. (‘I am the vine, you are the branches.’”) It turns out that both are true.
Jesus, called The Branch here is referenced as a tender shoot coming up from dry ground and inheriting the priestly and kingly duties and mantles of the LORD. Isaiah 11 says of Him: “1A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit. 2 The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of might, the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord —3 and he will delight in the fear of the Lord.”
He is the fruit of the LORD Himself and He is come to save His people.
Matthew Henry: “Christ, though excellent in himself, was as a tender plant out of a dry ground. Being the Tree of life, bearing all the fruits of salvation, he yields spiritual food to the souls of his people.”
So He is the vine, the main branch, and we are grafted into Him and are to bear fruit just as He has and does.
I have learned a method of pruning our grape vine that is the accepted practice and seems to be the most shocking in its implementation: cut the entire branch grown last year all the way back to two buds. This removes 90% of the entire plant. The result: two branches grow (six to eight feet each!) and both bear plentiful fruit. It seems painful and even wasteful but the yield is the best possible. In the same way we yield ourselves up to our Lord for His pruning (by way of the ultimate pruning shear, the cross) so He can produce in us the most fruit for His kingdom.