Dearest Jesus, how will I ever be able to admire you enough, much less adore you, for the wonderful way you stooped to our level?
What an image you used in the vine to illustrate your lowliness and meekness! It reminds us also of your fruitfulness and love for your people.
The prophecy said you would be “as a root out of dry ground.” What is more dry and unpromising, before the budding season, than the vine?
It was also said that you would have “no form nor comeliness, nor any beauty, that we should desire you.” And when you call yourself “the true vine,” Lord, you could not have chosen a more unsightly image.
It was said that you would be lowly and meek when coming with salvation. And what is lower than the vine, that sends forth branches upon the ground? What is so weak and feeble as the vine, that always needs some prop to support her feeble arms?
In the spreading of your gospel, Lord, your reach was prophesied to be “from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.” And truly, Lord, in the wide-spreading branches of the vine, you are the fruitful bough of Joseph, “even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall.”
So when we see the multitude of your people all hanging on you, all united to you, and all drawing sap, moisture, life, strength, and fruitfulness from you, what can more beautifully represent you and your people than the rich vine and her branches?
Precious Lord Jesus, surely you are the true vine which surpasses the whole creation of God. Lord, let me sit under your shadow, and let me taste of your fruit.
Glorious, wonderful Man, whose name is the Branch! You are as the prophet described you: beautiful and glorious in the eyes of all your redeemed.
On you, Lord, I would hang all the glory of your Father’s house, and all the glory of my salvation.
Let me sit under your shadow with great delight here, until you bring me home to sit under you, the tree of life, in the paradise of God, in the fullness of enjoyment of you forever, Amen.
Robert Hawker, “The Glorious Branch,” in Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans, ed. Robert Elmer (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2019), 232–233.