Those sugar bananas that grow in tropical and equatorial climates are unbelievably tasty. How about a sweet watermelon (especially seedless) on a hot, summer day? The best peaches probably grow in Fort Valley, Georgia, Chilton County, Alabama, or Palisade, Colorado. It is amazing how sweet a mango or red grape can taste. Surely, one of the crowns of creation had to be the blackberry which, in a cobbler, shows man’s intellectual capacity at its finest. Genesis 1:11 records that third day when God began making fruit, and it was fruit that was meant to sustain Adam and Eve (3:2-3). The diversity of fruit on this earth shows God’s desire for man to experience the enjoyment of something conjured by His perfect hand.
However, man is not the only one who loves fruit. The Bible makes it clear that God has a “taste” for fruit, too. He loves singing to Him done in spirit and truth (cf. John 4:24), which He calls “the fruit of lips” (Heb. 13:15). He calls the discipline of suffering which He allows for our growth and development “the fruit of righteousness” (Heb. 12:11). He enumerates the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, a whole range of thoughts and actions that prove we are Christ’s. Often, however, God’s Word speaks of the fruits of involved, committed Christian living, evidence of our conversion to Him. These fruits are tangible works that prove our gratitude for redemption, our desire to grow closer to God, our sense of debt and duty, our love for the One who is love, and our understanding of how important each of us fulfills our purpose as Christians on this earth.
Jesus made spiritual application through a fruitless fig tree on at least two occasions, the parable of Luke 13:6-9 and his encounter with a barren fig tree between Bethany and Jerusalem (Matt. 21:18ff; cf. Mark 11:12-14). Yet, His most famous analogies using the “fruit concept” are found in Luke eight and John fifteen. In Luke eight, the seed (8:11-the Word of God) planted in a good heart is fruitful while that strewn on the other types of hearts is not productive. In John fifteen, Jesus uses this fruit metaphor in an extended way. He is the vine. We are the branches. The Father is the farmer, the cultivator and fruit inspector. Jesus alludes to the idea that fruitless disciples are cut off from God and thus punished. However, when God looks at you and me and sees “much fruit,” He “is glorified by this” (John 15:5,8). In fact, it is by bearing fruit that we prove ourselves disciples of Christ (John 15:8). The key is abiding in Him. If you are truly in a relationship with the Lord, cultivated by prayer, study, and faithful living, you are abiding in Him. Fruit is visible, tangible, and discernible. Are you bearing or barren?