Apart from me you can do nothing

I've thought how when Scripture says "every" or "all", or similarly when it says "never" or "nothing", it is often a challenge to consider what it actually means. When Jesus says in John 15 that we must abide in him because apart from him we can do nothing, what does the "nothing" mean?

Does it mean that anyone who isn't in Christ is a paraplegic, unable to move? Obviously not. But that is the most apparent plain meaning of "apart from me you can do nothing" that comes to mind.

If we look at the context, he is talking about bearing spiritual fruit. "No branch can bear fruit by itself ... Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me."

Here is my attempt at stating what it means. "Apart from me, your life will just not work right. Your triumphs will be too empty, your defeats too upsetting, and your abilities to endure and persevere will not get you to the end of your messy situations."

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