In the backyard of our home we have several trees. Recently, a large portion of one of those trees partially broke leaving part of the tree somewhat attached to the main portion of the tree and the limbs resting on the ground.
Upon further inspection, the broken branch is no longer viable. In fact, it has only been a few days since the branch broke away and the leaves have already started to die and fall to the ground and the limbs have become brittle and easily broken. The broken branch no longer receives the needed nourishment provided by the main portion of the tree. The limbs no longer receive the needed nourishment provided by the branch. And the leaves no longer receive the needed nourishment provided by the limbs. Eventually, the branch will wither and die and be good for nothing but firewood because it did not remain attached to the tree.
Jesus reminds us of this same truth in the gospel of John:
4 Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. 5 I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. 8 My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples. (emphasis mine; John 15:4-8 CSB)
Jesus is the tree (vine); his followers are the branches. Jesus said his followers are to remain in him because they can do nothing without him. Apart from Christ, his followers will not receive the needed nourishment that only Christ can provide. Without the needed nourishment, they will not produce fruit, they will not glorify God and they have no visible proof they are true disciples of Jesus Christ.
In a real and tangible way, that broken tree in my back yard is a stark reminder of my ongoing need to remain firmly attached to the Vine. For apart from the Vine, I can do nothing.
Remain firmly attached to the Vine!