Grape Expectations

wine_grapes

Last week I met a friend for breakfast at a local bakery.  It’s one of those privately owned, small businesses with weird hours and the owner’s first name in the business name on front door.  Every town has one that is insanely popular with the locals and has the best doughnuts in the universe.

 

If you’re taking notes, these are way cooler places to say you met a friend for breakfast than your run-of-the-mill franchise joint.

During breakfast, our conversation quickly turned to fruit (which is odd because this place doesn’t serve anything within 500 calories of an apple…).  Specifically, we talked about the discouragement that can come when we go through seasons where we see no visible evidence of fruit in the world that can be traced back to our own walk with Christ.

Our Encouragement Lies in Scripture

On the night before his arrest, Jesus told the Disciples:

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

John 15:5

As is always the case, Jesus was intentional in His word choice.

He DIDN’T say: “he it is that sees much fruit”, “he it is that gets credit for much fruit” OR “he it is that gets to show his friends all of his fruit”.

He DID say “he it is that bears much fruit”.  No guarantees that we get to see it.

There have been volumes written about our role as branches, clinging to the vine (Jesus) so that fruit can be produced.  Let’s talk for a minute about what it’s like to be the fruit itself.

Science believes that both the shape and flavor of fruit are designed to facilitate its movement far away from the branch that it fell from.

The round shape facilitates rolling for fruit trees or vines that are rooted on a slope.  It also makes for smooth passage through the digestive system for birds or other animals who might eat it (more on that later).

I know what you’re thinking…”What about bananas??”  I’m convinced that God made bananas in such an odd shape so we could tell them apart from the other yellow fruit and wouldn’t accidentally make a lemon pudding or banana iced tea for the church potluck.

The sweet flavor of most fruit also makes it more appealing to animals.

Most animals have at least a six hour digestive system, meaning it takes at least six hours (sometimes more) for fruit eaten now to travel all the way through the digestive process and end up as a spot on your freshly washed car.  Your average bird can travel a LOOOONNNGG way in six hours!

In either scenario, the seed inside the fruit is neatly deposited in its new home along with a healthy dose of fertilizer…far out of the sight of the branch it fell from.

Focus on the Vine, Not the Fruit

As Christians, our focus should be fixed solely on the process of abiding in Christ.  When this is done, Jesus tells us that we will bear much fruit for the Kingdom.

Fruit will do as fruit does…release from the branch and move on…hopefully to go on and become its own branch.

Our job is to stay connected with the vine, grow that connection, and be amazed that our King loves us enough to allow us to be a part of the process!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • It was a great breakfast Shane! Let’s do it again soon…

  • Brandon Brown

    Great insight, Shane. As we have been going through the Screts of the Vine, the following commandment from John the Baptist (JTB) recorded in the 3rd Ch or Luke I found to be very interesting:
    Lk 3:7-9 (ESV) speaking to the Pharisees:

    “He said therefore to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children for Abraham. Even now the axe is laid to the root of the trees. Every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.”

    Notice JTB uses the command, “Bear fruits in keeping with repentance “. For without both (repentance and fruit bearing) we will not truly experience the friendship of God. They go hand and glove. You can’t have fruit without repentance, and if you continue in sin, you will not experience fruit.

    -BB

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