Whoever abides in me and I in him,
he it is that bears much fruit,
for apart from me you can do nothing.”
Suppose you are totally paralyzed and can do nothing for yourself but talk. And suppose a strong and reliable friend promised to live with you and do whatever you needed done. How could you glorify your friend if a stranger came to see you?
Would you glorify his generosity and strength by trying to get out of bed and carry him? No! You would say, “Friend, please come lift me up, and would you put a pillow behind me so I can look at my guest? And would you please put my glasses on for me?” And so your visitor would learn from your requests that you are helpless and that your friend is strong and kind. You glorify your friend by needing him and asking him for help and counting on him.
In John 15:5, Jesus says, “Apart from me you can do nothing.” So we really are paralyzed. Without Christ, we are capable of no good. As Paul says in Romans 7:18, “Nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh.”
But Jesus, as our strong and reliable friend — “I have called you friends” (John 15:15) — promises to do for us what we can’t do for ourselves.