Wednesday, April 12, 2006

No Fruit from a Withered Vine

In the final week before the crucifixion, Jesus got to the heart of the matter. Of course, the things said prior to this are just as important, but I think there is urgency of final instructions. A couple of days after his entry into Jerusalem, Jesus taught a lesson to His disciples, who likely didn’t even realize that a lesson was being taught. It happened when He approached a fig tree.
On the following day, when they came from Bethany, he was hungry. And seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to see if he could find anything on it. When he came to it, he found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. And he said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” And his disciples heard it. Mark 11:12-14
When Israel was commissioned to be a blessing to all peoples, they were given a mandate. They were to tell others of the hope that could only be found in God. The history of Israel is a history of their largely failing to do that. They were to bear fruit – but they didn’t. Fruit is the result of being part of the tree.

Jesus picked up on this theme when he was eating with his disciples in John 15:
I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.
John 15:1-8
We bear fruit in our lives, only as we remain rooted, connected, grounded in him… only as we are in him. This is true whether we are talking about:
The fruit of the Spirit
The fruit of belief
The fruit that comes from building into others

Remain, abide, be in Jesus.

1 comment:

The Righteousness of God said...

The grape does not make grapes...the vine does.