The Vine – #5 – The Fruit
John 15:2 (KJV) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
There is a two fold lesson to be learned from the fruit. The first is the seven fruits of the Spirit, and the second is the fruits of our labors for God. Can we have the one without the other? Paul describes the seven perfect fruits of The Spirit in his letter to the Galatians. He then summarizes them in his letter to the Ephesians.
Galatians 5:22 (KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Galatians 5:22 Amplified Bible (AMP) But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,
Ephesians 5:9 (KJV) (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth😉
It is through an ongoing daily relationship with Jesus (through Bible study and prayer) that we are able to develop those perfect fruits.
Notice that they are NOT OUR FRUITS, but are the fruits that are imparted to us as a gift from the Holy Spirit. When we are given these fruits, they can then be enjoyed by all those who we come into contact with.
There are also many ‘flavors’ in the fruits we can produce through the workings of God in our lives, and we’ll get into those in the next lesson. Lets take a look at some of the things the earthly husbandman must do to insure that the branches of the vine will bare fruit.
Let’s watch this short video, (3:03) “Summer Grape Pruning and Care” with Tricia, at “Peaceful Valley”. Watching these videos full screen is always the best way!
What did we learn?
1. Excessive vegetative growth forms a large dense canopy over the fruit blocking out the sunlight & breeze. The early rain of each season, as has all rain in general, is always correctly perceived to be a blessing from God.
However, even Gods blessings when used without his guidance can produce bad results, just like the video demonstrates.
2. Retain 6-8 shoots per foot of canopy. God picked just twelve disciples for Jesus to develop from tender shoots into branches that could produce fruit. God’s wisdom is amazing, and all of his plans have perfect purpose.
Twelve, and multiples of twelve are numbers that show up all the time in Gods word as part of plans in His designs. Is it a coincidence that the New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:12-14) has twelve gates, three on each of it’s four sides, and they are named after the twelve tribes of Israel? Which gate do you suppose that your mansion is closest to?
It doesn’t end there though, because the city also has twelve beautiful jewels for foundations that are named after the twelve Apostles of the Lamb, Christ Jesus! If you’ve never seen the video depicting the colors of the foundations then you can watch that here.
3. Remove all suckers from the trunk. They’re called suckers for a good reason. They suck the nourishing sap away from the branches that are producing fruit. They are easily compared to distractions that interfere with our spiritual development. However, it is important to note that it is The True Husbandman who is removing these things from our lives!
Likewise the branches with no clusters of fruit are sucking away the sap that could otherwise be used to grow fruit. The distractions aren’t always ‘bad things’, but they are things that suck up time that could be better spent, with much greater long term benefits and rewards.
These ‘better things’ can be things that further our spiritual development and strengthen our relationship with God. Our verse for this lesson talks about The True Husbandman taking them away. John 15:2 (KJV) Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:
4. Sunlight (Light from the Son) improves the flavor & quality of the fruit. It is the Light, or knowledge that we gain from our daily experience in the ever growing relationship we are developing with Jesus that has the greatest positive affect on the fruit we that display.
5. Too much shade and lack of air circulation creates conditions that breed diseases such as ‘powdery mildew’ that creates ‘bunch rot’. Fruit produced in darkness turns into rotten fruit.
There is fruit produced by wild vines that isn’t healthy like the fruit that is cared for by the husbandman. The expression we all have heard many times, “Sowing my wild oats”, is a good example of this principle. I lament that this was a life style I took on for more years than I care to think back on.
The results were the exact opposite of the fruits of The Holy Spirit. I must admit that those fruits were beyond rotten most of the time, but I thank God that He is patient and long suffering, and that He didn’t allow me to continue in that destructive lifestyle. I was baring diseased fruit, in darkness, that made many around me sick!
6. Take the long shoots (branches) and tuck them into the trellis away from the fruit. It eliminates the crowding around the fruit that blocks the light. Even the leaves that block the Light are removed. I liken those leaves to the kind of books & information that do not aid in the development of good fruit.
7. The leaves are what draws the sap up into the branch so that it reaches the clusters of fruit and helps them to grow. I like to compare these leaves to the pages of God’s word whereby we may be strengthened and nourished to bare fruit.
8. When the fruit begins to ripen it is too late to do any more pruning. There is a parallel that we can make here that really struck me as to the depth of this amazing parable Jesus taught his disciples.
If you’ve watched all of the videos in the first 4 lessons, you may have noticed that it takes three years for a new vine to bare fruit. Jesus spent a little over three years with His disciples, before His willing sacrifice on the cross, and then he sent His Holy Spirit back to continue to work with them throughout their lives. We also have that advantage.
But, I believe it was late in His life with them here, before he sent them out on their own, to share His fruits with the people (Read about the missionary journeys in Mark 6:7-13). In some cases, they failed in their efforts due to a lack of faith (Mt 17:16). In a moment of weakness their faith wavered.
9. And finally, just one cluster per branch? Ah yes, but on that cluster are many fruits! In this next lesson we get to discover what is ment my the last line in John 15:5 where it mentions, “More Fruit!”
My prayer is that God will bless us ALL with much fruit!