Ezekiel 15: Has Your Church Lost Heart and is Now Useless and Worthless?

Metaphors are found all over both the Old and New Testaments. God, in trying to reach the people so they could understand His commands, instructions and messages, used them often. He likened people and nations to things that would be familiar to the Israelites. For example, take the grape vine. Vineyards were everywhere as wine was a staple in the Jewish diet and used in temple worship. Today, in this short chapter, God likens Jerusalem to a vine. A vine is only good for one thing. Otherwise, it’s useless. You’ll also see how Jesus likens His followers to a vine. Let’s dig in…

Ezekiel 15 – Jerusalem—a Useless Vine

Then this message came to me from the Lord: “Son of man, how does a grapevine compare to a tree? Is a vine’s wood as useful as the wood of a tree? Can its wood be used for making things, like pegs to hang up pots and pans? No, it can only be used for fuel, and even as fuel, it burns too quickly. Vines are useless both before and after being put into the fire!

“And this is what the Sovereign Lord says: The people of Jerusalem are like grapevines growing among the trees of the forest. Since they are useless, I have thrown them on the fire to be burned. And I will see to it that if they escape from one fire, they will fall into another. When I turn against them, you will know that I am the Lord. And I will make the land desolate because my people have been unfaithful to me. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!”

Ezekiel 15 NLT

Short, Sweet and to the Point

As you can see from the picture above, the wood of a vine is gnarly. It’s not good for building at all. Also, as fuel, it burns up too quickly. So, the only thing it was good for was grapes. However, if it didn’t produce, that is, it wasn’t cultivated, trimmed, pruned, fertilized; in the right soil; if it didn’t get sun or water; if it didn’t produce fruit, or if the fruit was sour, it was useless, worthless.

God was comparing Jerusalem to a vine. See, to understand the meaning of the metaphor, you have to take the whole passage in context. God’s been giving Ezekiel messages to relay to the Israelites. He needs them to understand. He needs them to get the picture. Thus, He puts it in a language that they can understand.

With that in mind, let’s go to the New Testament and see how Jesus speaks about the vine…

Jesus told us…

“I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

“Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is thrown away like a useless branch and withers. Such branches are gathered into a pile to be burned. But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father.

John 15:1-8 NLT

A True Christian Remains or Abides in Jesus Christ

We humans are so easily swayed by new, shiny things and charismatic speakers. Ideas spread like viruses. Unfortunately, they usually pull us away from Jesus. Take a look at what Jesus told John to write to the churches. Much of this can apply to churches today!

The Lessons from the Book of Revelation

  1. We have 7 Blessings from Jesus in the letters to the 7 churches — which were not just written for the churches back then in 95 AD, but are relevant to us right now.
  2. The letter to the church of Ephesus asks if we love the church more than Jesus. We’re supposed to worship Jesus directly — not follow a church’s teachings or a pastor or priest only.
  3. In the letter to the church in Smyrna, we learn that if we remain faithful, we will receive the crown of life!
  4. The church in Pergamum had a major problem that Jesus hated and that was idolatry and immorality. We still have those problems today. We are supposed to worship the one true God only! Not Mary, not the saints, not a job, a lifestyle or a car. We are supposed to have a strong moral compass. Look at our world today and we see that evil, immorality and chaos are so prominent.
  5. The letter to the church in Thyatira questions whether we love our faith over our jobs. That’s a very controversial subject right now. Do we stand up for our faith or give in to the immoral culture just to stay in business or keep our job?
  6. Stuff happens when you least expect it! As Jesus says a lot, “Like a thief in the night,” read the letter to the church in Sardis.
  7. The church of Philadelphia was one of the 2 churches who did not get a scolding. They got a letter of encouragement and hope because they were faithful.
  8. Laodicea was the “lukewarm” church. Neither hot nor cold. They had all they needed so they didn’t care. Apathy is a huge problem in today’s world, too.

The fruit that Jesus is referring to are more believers. We are to spread the Good News and make disciples all over the world. To produce the fruit that Jesus is talking about, we must stay attached to the vine — HIM — and allow God, the Master Gardner to…

Where are You?

If you want to be part of the TRUE VINE, here’s what you need to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him.
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Metaphors in the Bible

Jesus Paid it All

Soli Deo Gloria! To God Alone Be the Glory!

2 thoughts on “Ezekiel 15: Has Your Church Lost Heart and is Now Useless and Worthless?”

  1. Pingback: Ezekiel 16-17: Do You Love God with a Loyal Heart or a Cheating Heart? – Seek the Truth

  2. Pingback: 3.1.25: Ezekiel 15: Has Your Church Lost Heart and is Now Useless and Worthless? - Seek the Gospel Truth

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