*** This article is part of a blog series about what it means to live with Christ as our source. You can check out the Introduction to the series here. ***
Jesus often used plant life to explain important aspects of the Kingdom of Heaven to his disciples. Here is a very significant one that he teaches them while sitting on a mount, presumably in Galilee:
“Every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognise them by their fruit.” (Matthew 7:17-20)
The concept that people are related to trees and their works to fruit is a concept that is carried throughout the New Testament. It is clearly an important metaphor that we should take note of. And it brings us to a very important principle. A tree can only reproduce according to its kind.
Trees are designed to live, grow, flower, produce seeds, and then release their seeds to be planted somewhere else. Seeds are thus the reproductive vessel of the tree. And they are found within the fruit. The fruit encapsulates or houses the seeds and are a sign that the tree is preparing for reproduction. Yahoo answers had the following to say on the topic:
The fruit provides nutrients to the seeds, much like a placenta provides nutrients to a fetus. Additionally, the fruit which surrounds the seed temps animals to eat the seeds and thus carry it to a new location to propagate the plant. Doubtless the fact that the seed passes through the digestive system of the animal and is deposited with a nice helping of fertilizer is also an advantage to the plant.
How interesting that the fruit is designed to appeal to animals so that they will carry the seeds to a new location for reproduction. The fruit is thus designed for the seed, for reproduction. So that the tree can multiply its kind on the earth. And it is the same with us. The fruit that we produce actually harbour within them the seed of the tree kind that is growing within us.
Hence, if we have an “evil” tree living within us, we will produce bad fruit and also reproduce an evil tree kind. Naturally, if we have a good tree living within us we will produce good fruit and reproduce its kind. And the way to recognise what type of tree grows within us is by our fruit. For that is the main element displaying the inner nature of the tree. If the fruit it good, so too the tree. If the fruit is bad, well, you get the picture.
So, what does this mean for our lives? Well, its pretty simple, what you eat you will reproduce. So, if you eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, guess what tree will begin to grow in you? And similarly, if you eat of the Tree of Life, its kind will begin to grow and bear fruit in you. But it is only through eating of its fruit that you can take in its seed to be planted on the soil of your heart.
Additionally, the fruit we eat is the fruit we bare… or put another way, the tree that grows within you will be the tree that you give life and multiplication to. Because as you bare fruit, people will come by, eat of it and within in them will begin to grow the same tree. And the cycle will repeat itself ensuring the multiplication of that tree kind all over the earth. It’s the way the Lord designed it.
Sadly, Adam and Eve ate of the Tree of the Knowlegde of Good and Evil and since that day the human race has been eating of and giving multiplication to this tree kind. There was no way for us to eat of the Tree of Life, for we needed someone who actually had the Tree of Life growing within them so that we could eat of its fruit, take in that seed and reproduce its life. And I’m guessing you know who that person is…. But more on that next week.
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