Have you ever decided to eat a piece of fruit, only to discover that it is rotten? It may very well be that from a distance it looks good, but once you examine it closely, you see that it is beginning to go bad. Perhaps the outside is still okay, but you can feel it beginning to soften on the inside? The other day I saw a bowl full of fruit that looked so delicious that I began to wonder if it was real? I could not tell, so finally I had to reach out and touch it to see if it is fake or real fruit?
In John chapter 15, Jesus is explaining to His disciples the importance of staying connected to Him through the Holy Spirit. “. . . He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing.” To illustrate His point, Jesus gives them the example of a vine (Jesus) and branches (disciples). Just as branches on a tree cannot bear any fruit without being connected to the vine, as Christians we cannot do God’s will apart from Jesus Christ.
Jesus wants for us to do the Father's will. This is evidenced in the words of the Savior (see John 15:16) to His disciples as He explains why He chose them. He is trying to help them understand the purpose of their lives as His followers. He knows that His time on the earth is coming to an end and He is entrusting them with His ministry to the lost. “Go and bear fruit,” He tells them…” fruit that will last.”
I asked myself, why did Jesus use this horticultural example to illustrate His point? To answer this question, it helps to think about the purpose of fruit. It is meant to feed and nourish. Fruit is meant to satisfy and fill and it tastes good. Fruit also leaves seeds that can be replanted so it therefore has some reproductive qualities. Jesus is reminding the disciples to invest their lives in the eternal, not the temporary. The fruit of their lives will last as long as they are living in Him. In this example, Christ is revealing His will for all of His followers. Our lives should feed and nourish those with empty, hungry, longing souls. Furthermore, we should be seed-planters of the gospel.
Therefore, to apply the analogy given by Jesus, it becomes evident that every life bears some type of fruit, the question is, what kind? How are you spending your life? Is it the temporary fruit of the world that looks nice on the outside but is empty inside? Or is it the lasting fruit that is born from a life that is connected to Jesus? God’s will is that you bear fruit, fruit that will last.
Dear God, I admit that I cannot do Your will on my own. I want my life to bear lasting fruit and I realize that in order to do that, You must do it through me. Please help me to depend on You, trust You, and obey You more and more each day. I pray this in Your name, Amen.
Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you.